Jordan is constantly reminded of daddy. He is starting to verbalize the two-year old thoughts that have been stored up for months in his mind. At the time of the accident he was constrained by very limited ways to communicate or express what was happening and how he was feeling. He was 20 months old; really just a baby.
I have been asked what Jordan knows, how he is coping, and what he expresses. How does a baby grieve? Do they grieve? Do they know what it means to feel sad? How do they process loss?
This is what I know. Jordan knows that dad is missing. Jordan knows that something is different. Jordan knows that he is missing dad extremely. Jordan wishes with lots of passion that Daddy would come back. In the last week, I have often heard Jordan calling out, “Daddy, come here! Daddy, come here!”
Over the past few days, I started keeping a running list of all the
references Jordan makes when he mentions his father. “Daddy” is a
regular conversation piece; a conversation that we have every day. I
am keeping this list as a record for Jordan someday to study and
discover the intricate connections he had with his dad! The list is
compiled of Jordan’s actual phrases and words. I offer some
explanation or toddler translation within the parentheses. I think if
Jordan could journal this is exactly what he would say.
Daddy open present
Daddy police car
Daddy ah…swimming pool
Jordan an’ Daddy ah…swimming pool
Jordan an’ Daddy hiking
(Jordan commenting on photos of daddy)
Daddy “la-la” song
Daddy “Ale-Ale Alleluia” song
Ready, Go, Set! 3, 5, 6, 16, 20! Ready, Go, Set!
Driving like Daddy
Daddy fix it
Daddy see it
Daddy throw diaper away
Jordan sleep daddy’s pillow
Maddi sleep daddy’s pillow
Mommy sleep daddy’s pillow
(Jordan started sleeping with Daddy’s pillow three nights ago.)
(Last night he asked Madelynn to “share Daddy’s pillow”)
Where Daddy go?
Mommy, where Daddy go?
"Come here, Daddy!" "Come here, Daddy!"
"See you, Daddy!"
"Bye! Bye! Daddy!"
“Guess who is coming over today?” I asked Jordan one morning expecting
him to say grandma or Aunt Cindy. “Daddy!” Jordan exclaimed!
Jordan woke up early a different morning screaming and crying in overwhelming
sadness for his dad to hold him. He uses his invented verb of “hold
you” to indicate “hold me”.
"Daddy! Daadddy! Daaaady!"
"Daddy, hold you! Daaadddy, hold you!"
"Daddy, hold you Jordan!"
Daddy isn’t becoming less, he’s becoming more. More of a constant thought, more of a focus, more of a memory, more of a loss.
My children and I are following a similar pattern of grief; missing Shawn
and missing daddy intensified with each sequential day. We have not
forgotten. The numbness is now beginning to wear off and we are just
starting to remember.