Friday, July 6, 2012

A glimpse at what Rowan will deal with

Humans have a tendency to focus what's in front of them. This is especially true in crisis situations like the one I was in for months. But as things have settled somewhat and my focus has shifted, I have begun to see a bigger picture. A part of that was the recent realization of things Rowan will face.

Rowan drew a picture of her
family earlier this spring, and
it included me, her, and Aimee.
When Aimee died, I was able, as an adult, to take in all the information about what happened and begin to process it. I could understand what happened, why it happened, and why the result was what it was. I HATED it, but I could understand it.

But for Rowan, who was only 3 1/2 at the time, I could really only explain the basics: mommy was on a boat, there was a accident, and mommy drowned. She's now in heaven with Grandpa. Rowan understood what that meant, and it's probably as much as she coudl handle and was all she needed at the time.

But one day...

As she grows older and continues to process the loss of her mother in each new stage of her own development, more questions will occur to her, which was a sudden and new revelation to me. It hasn't happened yet, but it will. It'll probably occur to her to ask:
  • What happened? Why was there an accident? How did it happen?
  • Could it have been prevented? Did mommy have to die?
  • Why didn't you keep her from going scuba diving that day?
  • Why was mommy the only person on the boat who died?
  • Was this someone's fault? If so, have they been punished, and what was their punishment?
  • And probably many more.

As these questions hit, I fully expect that anger will suddenly become part of the range of emotions she'll feel. In a way, Rowan will go through her grief process SO much more slowly than the rest of us who have been affected.

Knowing this now, I realize I need to be prepared for when these questions come. I need to provide her with as much information (appropriate to her age when she asks these things) as I can, as honestly as I can. And I need to be prepared for the fact that she may explode with sorrow or rage or some other emotion, even though by then years and years will have passed.

Rowan will be dealing with this a long time. Probably all of her life.


  1. Although we have never met, Donna, Terry, my first husband &I all went to Butler at the same time. My husband and Terry were frat brothers and I too graduated from Milan a year ahead of Terry. In fact, the frat brothers were in each others weddings. So, since I remember the day Aimee was born and shared many good times with Terry & Donna my heart goes out to all of you. Your writings are as beautiful as they are tragic. May GOD continue to give you, Rowan and Donna strength and faith to carry on. My love to Donna for I am a 'grammy' now also, and cannot imagine the pain.
    Marcia Finke-McCreery-Davis

    1. Marcia, Thanks so much for your comment. I always love hearing from those in the pasts of the Richmonds, as it rounds out the history of a family I have come to love.

      God bless.