Thursday night, as we gathered in shock, anger, tears and with a few beers, I found myself sitting on the couch next to my friend's middle daughter. To my knowledge she had yet to cry, instead she kept saying how worried she was for her older sister and her younger brother. She turned to me and asked
Do you think maybe Evan could talk to F? You know because...
I told her the story about how Evan handled himself when my dad died...at the funeral how he obsessively counted the chairs in the church, the number of programs and the constant stream of people coming through the door. Evan realized that there were more people than programs and pews and started to try and turn people away before several of us assured him it would be okay.
And that Evan didn't truly mourn until much much later, he was just aware that everybody was sad, but he still had things that needed to be done and a schedule to adhere to. I told M, that my best guess would be that F would probably react the same way, or in a very similar way, given that he is the same age that Evan was at the time he lost his Grampy.
I told M that this was okay, and to let F take the lead and the rest will follow. All he really needs to know is that is daddy loved him very much, and that he was sick and just couldn't get better.
I told her it would be a hard and long process of grieving for all of them, each at different stages, and to remember to respect that...and to remember the loving family she has, and the friends her mom has...and that all of us will be there for them.