Nesta says hello to snowcat
Occasionally I interview the children. I ask questions and share what they say with their parents as a way to help us all understand how children relate to their experiences.
“How do you know your Dad loves you?”
I sat in the rocking chair in the backyard at Starr’s House while Brennyn skipped a circle, hopped over a rock, and smiled broadly before stopping in front of me to reply, “Because he died and now he’s in my heart."
Later, I asked the director of the school, “Did Brennyn’s dad die?” He had. I didn’t know.
Brennyn’s response reminds me of the day Carly, our class gerbil, died. We found her when we arrived for class and placed a polka-dot-patterned doll blanket over her. We told the children what happened and invited them to gather in a circle around her to say goodbye. Carly’s face peeked out from the cover. The children took turns appreciating her.
“Carly, you were a nice pet.”
“Tell God hello.”
“I liked watching you exercise.”
Then Tomas threw up. One of us helped Tomas. The other children accepted this and continued.
“I thought you were a hamster Carly.”
“I’ll always love you.”
“Now you’re in our heart, Carly,” said Maxwell.
I'm thinking of my cat Nesta who passed peacefully today.
I know what Brennan and Maxwell mean when they say we carry those we love in our hearts. I feel that about my son who died six years ago, and since that experience, understand better that I carry all the love I have for others with me, whether they are here physically or not.