My son has started to have nightmares again recently. We thought we'd got them taken care of, but evidently not.
He can never explain what they are about but he always wakes up crying for his Mum...which is the hardest thing in the world to see.
"Mum's in Heaven, remember?"
"But I need her to come back."
How can you answer that?
So at four this morning when he was up crying for her, we had a chat about it.
"I want her to come back too, you know," I told him.
"Do you miss her?"
"Yep. I think I miss her almost as much as you do."
He didn't say much and I thought he'd fallen asleep there in my arms. But a few minutes later he told me,
"It hurts me here," and pointed to his chest, "I miss her here."
I was a bit taken aback with a comment like that from my six year old. Deep to say the least. But I thought about it and.. well... you know when you're rally upset or yo're just so completely grief stricken, there is a physical discomfort there. I never really thought of it like that before.
"That's a broken heart," I told him.
"I broke my heart?" he asked.
"No. Not actually broken. But that's what we call it. When something makes us really sad, we say it breaks our heart, but only when it's really, really, really sad."
"Did your Mum break your heart?"
"Well it wasn't her fault. But when she had to go to heaven it broke my heart, yes. And when your Mum had to go to heaven too that broke my heart as well."
"Can you fix it?"
"No. Not properly. But it won't hurt that much forever, you know. Eventually it will start to feel better," I assured him.
"How do you know?" he asked.
I pointed out a scar I have on my back and assured him, "See, a broken heart is a bit like a nasty cut. If you get a realy bad injury it really, really hurts at first. But then it starts to heal until you can't feel it all the time. And then you get a scar... and the scar isn't something that hurts you every day but you still know it's there."
"Have I got a big cut on my heart?"
"I don't know. What do you think?"
"I think I have."
"You know what's good for that right?"
He eventually fell asleep again nearer to 6am. I didn't bother going back to bed. Instead I sat on the floor beside his bed and watched him sleep.
I never ever realised what unconditional love was until my son came into my life. I would do literally anything in the world to take his pain away.
I remember my Mother telling me about a similar conversation she had with me when I was roughly his age and was coming to terms with my Father's death. Until the early hours of this morning, I really never understood just how tough my Mother's life was. A severely broken heart of her own that she didn't have time to tend to because she had 2 children suffering the same ailment.
My Mother was a Goddess.