Wednesday, November 1
I had been putting off telling Skye about her Nanna. She knew that when we arrived late last Sunday that Nanna was in the hospital, but she also knew that back in Italy Daddy was in hospital too, finally getting his plastercast removed. So I decided to wait until her Daddy arrived in England before telling her that Nanna wasn’t coming back, just in case she thought that Daddy wouldn’t be coming back either.
Strangely, over the last few days she has avoided her usual ‘England’ habit of waking up in the morning and climbing into Nanna and Grandads bed. Instead she has come to me and Carlo and snuggled up between us. This morning though, she didn’t wake us. She climbed into bed with her Grandad and looked around the room. She looked at one of the bedside tables and said to her Grandad, “look, there’s Nannas glasses. Nanna is in hospital.”
So, when my Dad told me this, I knew that I would have to try to explain to Skye that Nanna had gone. I took her upstairs to my bed and I read to her the story of the waterbugs and the dragonflies, a book that in a way explains bereavement to small children. The gist if it is that the waterbugs live in a community under the water and notice that every now again one of them vanishes. They decide that the next one to go will come back and tell the others where they have been. Soon after, one waterbug finds himself climbing up a lily stalk, out of the water. He falls asleep and when he wakes he finds he has become a dragonfly. He flies around, then notices his waterbug friends under the water, but he can’t get back to tell them that he is still there, only different…
I explained to Skye that Nanna had flown away like the dragonfly but she would always be up there watching us down below. Carlo was crying silently under the cover. I asked herif she had understood what I had told her, she asked if Nanna was still in the hospital. I said that she had gone away somewhere else and we wouldn’t see her again, but that she was watching us. She said, “but I want to hug Nanna…a big hug like this..” she wrapped her arms around herself and squeezed tightly, then asked me to read her another story.
We all want to hug her Nanna like that.
at 10:50 PM