Each day still takes my breath away a little. Each realization that Erik is no longer here and it truly is just me and the twins now. There is no escaping this reality or pretending it isn’t true any longer. What I didn’t realize was how soon the questions would come. Where is daddy, mama? I knew I would have to get around to explaining to the twins what happened to Daddy. I knew I would have to figure out how I wanted to answer and handle that. But they just turned three. And I thought I still had plenty of time to figure it out since I am still relearning each day how to live and survive without you.
This past week as we were leaving the house a random neighbor turned the corner and started walking towards us. He smiles nicely at the twins and immediately Wyatt looks at him, turns back to me, and asks “Daddy?”. As he gets closer, Wyatt goes to him and says “Where’s my daddy?” My face turns red and I froze. Not knowing how to respond and completely caught off guard I say “Daddy’s not here sweetheart.” “Daddy coming home, mama?”, says Wyatt. At this point, Charlotte goes up to this man and says “I want my daddy.” “Daddy come home!”, she screams. The two playing off of each other. Not really sure if this neighbor had truly heard what they said to him, I tried to brush it aside as I hustled them along, smiling nicely as I passed this man who had no idea that these sweet innocent kids’ dad was dead. This entire interaction spanning all of less than a minute, but felt to me as if time just stood still as appalled as I as to what just happened. We continued down the hallway as they screamed bye to him and continued to ask where is daddy over and over again.
As we got to the car I replayed all of that in my head. What would I have responded to them if I wasn’t caught off guard? What do I even want to say to them? Do I continue with what I have been saying to them? Daddy isn’t here anymore, but he is watching over you and he loves and misses you so much. But that doesn’t seem like enough for them anymore. There’s so much to consider in terms of what I tell them, how I say it, and how much they would actually comprehend. Their school has been telling them that Daddy is in the sky. So sometimes they look up and say hi to daddy up there or they ask him to come down. But is this enough? As I struggle to figure out how to explain that Daddy is no longer physically here and why he isn’t, I find myself wondering how I even break the news to them when I can barely even accept it myself.
So, where is Daddy?