Thursday, February 23, 2012


There are a lot of times when people will ask me questions about Evelyn. "How is Evelyn handling everything?" "Does Evelyn understand?" "Will Evelyn know her brother exists? " and many more.  The answers aren't usually simple "Yes" or "No" type answers, its more complicated than it may seem. We will always have to remember what stage she is at, how much can she comprehend, what is she ready to hear, is this going to make sense to her?  No matter what though, I will always remember to tell her that Gabriel knew her, Gabriel still knows her.

I believe that Gabriel knew his sister as much as he knew us. He wasn't deaf, he could hear. He could hear our voices, our cries, our prayers, our wishes and my heart. He knew we loved him, he listened to us talking to him telling him all about our lives.  He could feel the presense of our friends and family around us and could hear the voices of everyone that loved him so dearly.

Evelyn was less than a year old when we found out we were expecting again, she was only 18 months old when Gabriel was born. Yes she came to the hospital in the middle of the night to meet her brother. No she doesn't understand, she's far too young. In fact, when she was at the hospital she had a look of "What... is... that???" most of the time she was there.  So she's handling it fine, sometimes she seems to understand when we have tough days, or rough moments. Most of the time she is completely clueless.

We have every intention of making sure Evelyn knows that she does have a brother. We will take it step by step as she grows and as questions start coming. When she sees pictures of him we always say "Gabriel..." and of course she has no real response because she doesn't understand what that means... but someday she will. After that we can add the word "Brother Gabriel".  We will coontinue to add words as she begins to comprehend what we are telling her. We will always keep Gabriel as a very open and common topic in our household and lives. We want to ensure that she never feels afraid to ask questions or talk about him.

When she asks about him, we will answer in the best way we can, the best way we feel she will understand. Telling her that Gabriel is her brother and that he plays with the angels instead of here with us. Then we can explain that he was very sick and had to go where he could be healthy again.  Then we will explain what was wrong with him. Hopefully we can continue adding details as she is ready for them. Eventually she'll know the entire story.

We have shadow boxes, pictures, and other memorabilia in our home, she'll see all of that regularly. I love to scrapbook and when I found out I was pregnant I started one for him. Sadly that book has turned into a memorial. I can't get myself to work on it to get it finished... I want to, I'm just not ready yet.  I've created a folder where I keep everything I need to put in there, when I'm ready I'll finish it. Someday, she'll have that book to look at and see the entire story, every ultrasound, doctor appointment, flat item we've recieved, and all my blogs (I've been printing them and putting them in there as we go.)  She'll have plenty of things to remind her that he existed.

We hope that by keeping him very alive in our hearts and our lives, she will someday cherish having an angel brother as much as we cherish having an angel son. My secret wish is that someday - when she's old enough - she'll want to get a tattoo to commemorate him. (I love tattoos and that explains a lot haha, she may hate them and that would be ok too).

My point is that I hope she will feel his love, I hope someday she'll mention him to me, ask questions, or talk to other people about him. I have recieved emails, comments, and messages from people who have referred to their "angel siblings" and I hope someday, that will be Evelyn.

It would touch my heart to hear her say "I have a brother, he is all around me, he's my guardian angel..."

1 comment:

  1. Natalie turned 2 five days before Adam was born, and then he passed 2 months later. I was so grateful at first that she was so young and didn't understand. Then one day I realized she'll get older, and we'll have to keep telling her! We are just very open and honest, and we too have pictures all over. We change how we approach the topic as she gets older. At first we told her he was an angel. Now she knows he passed away, but I'm sure she doesn't know what that means. She seems to understand that he's gone cuz when she gets upset about something unrelated, she says she misses him. It's like she associates sadness with Adam. It's strange, I always wonder what she's thinking. It's hard when they're so young.