Tuesday, January 16, 2007

should've said

Last night I got a call from my sister. She sounded upset and told me that my niece Casey was going to have to explain. So Casey gets on the phone--she's 7-- she's crying and through her hiccups, I can't really understand what she is saying but something about the TV (hiccup) and someone died (hiccup) and it was GEORGIA and it made her really sad (hiccup). Apparently, she was watching a show where someone's grandfather passed away and it made her upset because after seeing the show, she realized that Georgia was dead like that TV Show grandpa was dead and she realized all of a sudden that she wasn't ever going to see her again and it hit..hard. I have to say that at this point, my Auntie Skillz completely failed and I couldn't think of a single thing to comfort her other than to say that I loved her. Doh. I know, I know, I should have whipped out the whole Rainbow Bridge poem (corny as it is) and read it to her over the phone...or SOMETHING, but I blanked. nothing, nada, zip.

I did recover after a few minutes and emailed the thing to her mom so she could read it to Casey herself. I know I tanked on providing any sort of comfort, but the fact is, sometimes I still miss Georgia so much it's like a punch in the stomach. I mean, it's not something I dwell on every day or even every week but it still makes me sad to think about it.

So, is my whole family just a little weird for still mourning a dead dog 4 months later? hell, I don't know. I think with Casey, it's just a fact that Georgia is the first thing she's ever known and loved that has died. I don't mean to belittle the loss of any of our other relatives who've passed on recently, but Casey never met her great-grandmother. Georgia, on the other hand, used to steal cookies out of her mouth when she was three. They were tight.

Death is not an easy concept for 7 year olds to get. I mean, they know what it means, but truly understanding the long term emotional consequences? hell, I don't think any of us--7 years old or up handle that part very well. I think that figuring out several months later that you still miss someone and that hurt is still there--makes sense.

So I wish I had had this conversation with Casey. I wish that I had told her that she wasn't silly for crying about a dead cocker spaniel because of something she saw on a TV show. That death sucks and this is why it sucks so bad. But even so, it's a wonderful thing to have things in our lives that we care about so much because those are the things that make life worth living, even if they leave us too soon. I wish I had told her how much it meant to me that she wanted to call me and tell me herself how she was feeling and how jealous I am of her ability to express herself so honestly and openly because some people don't do that so well as little girls.

And mostly, I really do love her a lot.


Robyn said...

Thank you for explaining that in a way that I don't think I'm nuts for dialing your number that night. Casey was so upset and I couldn't comfort her. My reasoning for calling was that if she heard you were okay she might not be upset. She read the rainbow bridge poem and understood that Georgia is playing with other dogs now. I avoided telling her that she would be there until you got there. I was afraid as smart as she is that we would be upset all over again. Thanks for supporting her very open way of expressing her feelings.

Suzy said...

I am still sad over the loss of Georgia too. She was very special to so many people...and dogs.

Stinkydog said...

aw, thanks Suzy.