These Widow's Shoes


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A NOT HAPPY day

Today Saskia was NOT HAPPY, or so she told me. She also described herself as ‘grumpy’ and ‘sad’, not feelings she’s prone to I’m proud to say. Usually I can shake her out of any grump with tickles, cuddles, offers to play with her, or the big guns, cake or telly. But today she didn’t want ANYTHING!! as she hotly exclaimed on several occasions.

Whether sad and grumpy were just her ways to express her being dog tired, which I knew she was, or her voicing a deeper unhappiness, I don’t know, but in the midst of her whining and whimpering this afternoon, she suddenly came out with ‘I need my Daddy!’, then she just cried ‘Daddy! Daddy!’ over and over again for maybe five minutes. Eventually she stopped as she began to drift off to sleep in my arms.

I was shocked, and really sad for her. This is the first time she’s shown strong emotion about not having her Daddy. My instinct is that she was feeling rotten – exhausted after a run of late and restless sleeps – and was so out of sorts that she felt she didn’t want anything, but she wanted something. Something, or someone, who was missing, but could look after her and make her feel better.

I asked her what had made her think about Daddy and she said it was Pickle, our cat. She knows he was Daddy’s cat, bought especially to cheer him up when he was poorly.

The last few days have been relatively intense in terms of talking about Daddy, and death. On Sunday we visited the burial ground, and Saskia brought a new stone that she’d chosen on the beach in Cornwall to go with the one she’d brought to put by the tree on January 3rd. And yesterday we attended the committal (just the burial part of a funeral) of Ben’s Nan. Although Sas asked questions about what was going on, she didn’t seem upset at all at the time – she was much more concerned with taking her shoes and socks off so she could run barefoot in the grass! Who knows what she’s absorbed, what she’s understood and what she’s taken to heart, but it’s very possible that the events of the last few days were jumbled up with her unhappiness when she cried for Daddy today.

Poor Sas. There will be many more moments like this ahead as her loss gathers meaning in her mind. I still don’t feel I have the right words. I’m just hoping that cuddles and kindness will be enough for now.

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