While picking Mathew up from school after seven long sad days, I assumed he forgot about our last hour together on Tuesday, August 11th. I was wrong.
Our last hour together was bothersome for both of us. Mathew was napping when I got the call that woke him up to the sounds of my disbelief. I can't imagine what he was thinking or feeling in this moment. He was immediately concerned with me and gave me some "luvin!" When he asked what was wrong, the only thing I could tell him (without thought or planning) was that Robin was "hurt." And after some tears, hugs, and pacing, I told him that I needed to go see Robin and take care of some things. "But I want to take care of things with you," he would say. Or "Mama, do you need some juice?" You can see he wanted to take care of me. When his father came to pick him up, he did not want to leave me, nor did I want him to. He is my main source of light, energy, and happiness. It was a difficult hour between the two of us, to say the least. After he left with his dad, I rushed down to Miami...
* 7 days later*
Heading home after sitting shiva, I didn't really know what to expect from Mathew. His dad said that he missed me and asked for me a lot. I didn't know if he remembered much of what happened on Tuesday or not. When I did see him, he was purely happy to see me. He talked to me about school (I missed his first day of school on Monday), his new friends and teachers, and so forth. And when the excitement passed, he calmly asked if Robin was still hurt. Taken by surprise, I explained to him simply that Robin passed away.
By now, we have talked about Robin on several different occasions. And I've delved into it a little deeper. He asked to make a card for Robin last night (which made me think he really didn't understand). I've purchased a few books for him, which he is not ready to explore. I tried a couple times to read them to him...and he's just not ready. I figured he doesn't understand. Again, I was wrong. He just understands in his own way.
This morning he says to me:
"Can we pick up Harley and Robin and bring them to Mimi and Papa's house?"
Mathew's understanding of death is of course minimal. His closest experience is losing our dog Harley, and we got to say good-bye and take pictures before we gave him up for adoption. This is quite a different experience, but nonetheless, I do believe he understands (again in his own way). I believe Mathew understands that he is gone and that we won't see him again, he just doesn't understand what gone is or why. As time passes, he will learn and grow with this experience. And I will keep Robin's memories alive forever.
For me, Robin is Mathew's angel now. I don't know if Jewish people believe in Guardian Angels, or even if I ever did, but I do now. Maybe this is just a way to give me comfort and peace or to keep his memory alive, I don't know. But I will constantly look to Robin for help, guidance and protection for Mathew. And I believe, that Robin will be watching over him, like a guardian angel.