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  • Rachel

Missing her sister

This is childhood grief.

The rest of her life, she will be mourning her little sister. Her best friend.

Her grief will change. She will process more, as she is developmentally able to understand more. As her concept for death changes. As her spiritual understanding grows.

A 2-year-old child, falling asleep with her sister’s soother in her mouth. Her sister’s lovie tucked in between her belly and blanket, next to her own lovie. Her sister’s blanket pulled over her own, tucked under chin. The warmth of the “sister” puppies, snuggled in next to her. Staring at pictures, remembering when her sister was next to her.

And cries and desperate pleas to have her sister back. Constant begging for her sister.

While not being able to comprehend that Raelyne is not coming back. She can’t come back.

Her inability to sleep through the night. Needing to be close. Needing to be connected. Being awake for hours in the middle of the night, desperately wanting her sister. Unable to fall back asleep.

Desperate to find a way to Heaven. Trying to find a way to fly, if only, so she could see her sister. Maybe she could be a butterfly. Or a bee. Or a bird. Maybe she could take a plane. If she can’t go, then maybe Raelyne can come back. Crying out to Jesus to come back. Asking him to bring Raelyne back.

As the days and the weeks go on, we see her grief change. We are able to support her with her understanding. Give her the needed security. All the hugs and kisses. Change her bedtime routine to be more calming. Encourage her to talk about Raelyne during the day more, to avoid her wandering mind.

Her pictures get moved to her wall. She doesn’t need Ellie and the soother. Raelyne’s blanket gets put in the baby doll crib. The cries and desperate pleas ease. There are less night wakings. Less time awake in the middle of the night. Less time trying to figure out how to get to Heaven. Or how to get Raelyne back. More time spent watching home videos. Laughing. Smiling. Giggling of the time she got to spend with Raelyne.

Progress. Healing.

Until it hits again. The agonizing grief. Trying to process something she can’t understand. The inconsolable cries and begging for her sister. She needs her sister. Ellie comes back to bed. The soother comes back. Raelyne’s blanket gets tucked under her chin. She spends hours, trying to get to sleep, all while begging for sister. Desperate to have Raelyne back. Needing closeness. Attachment.

It is difficult enough as an adult to understand death. To comprehend how your child is suddenly gone. Not coming back. But a child? A child, who’s best friend was there one day and gone the next. Her life buddy. Her sister. Her best friend.

As a mother, I thought my heart was ripped from me, the moment the doctor told me that they couldn’t bring Raelyne back. The agonizing pain of knowing your child is dead. I didn’t think that pain could get worse. Until you watch your other child, suffer through the horrendous grief of losing her sister and best friend, while she can’t even comprehend death. The pain of knowing you can’t bring your one child back and you can’t make your other child’s pain go away.

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