“Did the doctors try to save Eva?”

“Did the doctors try to save Eva?” Questions that seemingly come from nowhere, as I get a glimpse into Max’s constantly curious mind.

“When I told my class about Eva, everyone was sad for me.”

I shared with Max that a man we wrote a story about at work spent a lot of his time helping children like Eva purely out of the goodness of his heart, Max asked, “Could he have helped Eva?”

Our niece spent the night, and she flooded us with Eva questions. It was good to hear Max’s responses. He would answer and look at me for reassurance. And then it struck me, it’s so heavy sometimes to teach a child about morgues and cremation and what a dead body feels like. I wish they didn’t have to learn so much because of my child’s death.

We talk about how Eva’s soul is still around us. He will always have a sister. This appeases him for a time, until he comes back to the thought, “I want a sibling so it’s not just me.” And then I tell him he’s lucky to make friends easily, and he’s blessed with cousins who are like siblings. He smiles. I smile.

This is the day-to-day life of a family who misses a child. They say children who lose siblings will ask questions for years to come as their development changes and their understanding of events deepen. My goal is to give him the space he needs, knowing he can always talk about his sister. I just wish he didn’t have to know so much about death because of her.

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