Missing Dalton

Today, listening to Ashley talk about her prom and after-prom events, I realized how difficult this weekend must be for our friends Roni and John Lambrecht ( http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2014/12/29/in-memory-of-dalton/)

Dalton would have attended this prom as a junior in high school, whether he wanted to attend or not.  Ashley would have dragged him if he didn’t have a date 😉 but he would have had a date!  How difficult it must be for them to pass these times in OUR lives and not have the experience of the moment for themselves, but the absence and the reminders.

Some people say the darndest things!  I have had people ask me the strangest questions and it makes me wonder if “people” ask John and Roni these same types of questions??

I certainly do not begin to compare my “missing Dalton” to the heartache they feel for the hole in their hearts, in their lives.  But we MISS him.

A few months ago, I made a post about this:  http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2014/10/03/how-to-help-friends-grieve/

I have had people ask me if I think they would feel better if he had been younger (not around as long), or older (had more of life’s experiences)?  I cannot imagine thinking that a parent of a smaller child, would miss that child less? or that parents of a young adult think their child “lived more” than a teenager?  I cannot fathom the loss of a child AT ANY AGE.

I have had people ask me if I think they wished this had happened to a family with multiple children.  I’m presuming because they think having “other kids” makes the loss of one bearable?  Of course, my first reaction to Dalton’s death, was, why?  Why an only child?  Why this child?  I’ve never asked them if they felt this way.  But, I can imagine that every possible permutation of what happened, has crossed their minds… it has crossed mine.  That being said, I think it’s only natural to “wonder” at the loss of an only child but I fullheartedly believe that they would never wish the death of a child, any child. I don’t think they wish this had happened to someone else, I just think they wish it had never happened!

I have had people ask me, if I would have traded one of my children for Dalton.  Absolutely not.  And I know John and Roni would not accept any other answer.  I would however, have given myself in Dalton’s place without hesitation.  I also believe that my kids would understand that choice and be perfectly ok with that decision, sad, but ok.  I also know that our “neighborhood family” would be here for them, as they are now.

I have had people ask me if I “feel bad” because I’m happy about the things I get to with my kids.  And I answer, “No.”  I do not feel bad.  John and Roni do not hold it against my children for living, they love my kids as their own.  My heart aches for that missing piece, but that does not mean that we cannot be joyful.  I have no doubt that it breaks their hearts with happy tears, crossing those milestones with our family.  I have no doubt that there are times that they would rather stay home than live through the “happiness” that we get to experience, but because of their love for our family, they share their tears with us.  When they can, they come to our celebrations, and we know we share Dalton’s memory in those times.  I wish that I could ease their pain and sorrow but I know they do not wish us to be unhappy.  Dalton would not have wanted that, his loving and giving personality wins out!

I have had people ask me if I “stop talking about kids’ stuff” around them.  The reasons have been “because it’s a painful reminder that he is not here.”  No, why would I?  I have kids and while Dalton is not here with us this moment, he is!  He IS their child.  They are not childless, he is still very much a part of our lives.  There is absolutely nothing I can say that IS NOT a reminder of Dalton.  EVERYTHING is a reminder of Dalton.  They don’t need anyone to point out reminders, nor hide reminders… I cannot imagine that there is a second in the day that is not about their child.  To stop talking about children around them, in my opinion, would be cruel.  It would make an empty space in our conversations and that feels hurtful to me.  I talk about school and Dalton, and I will cry, and keep talking about school and Dalton.

I’m making a lot of assumptions here, but John and Roni are our family.  I can make assumptions about “family.”  My advise to people is this… TALK TO YOUR LOVED ONES ABOUT LOSS.  If you are missing an angel, I promise you, that someone needs to know that.  Someone needs to hear you say that, to feel that.  If you have a question, ask.  Some of the questions asked to me are not “wrong.” they are legitimate questions, from real humans.  I wish and hope that people talk to Roni and John about these questions. Maybe I should take my own advise and go ask them myself?!

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