February 12, 2017
“Mom,” says R, “I read in school that there are lozenges that make you feel sad. The ingredients are sugar, strawberry and something special. Do you think we could buy them at the store to help us remember Daddy?”
“I don’t think that is real R,” I said and then backtracking to not destroy her hope I said “we can try it if you want.” She smiles and grabs a bag of Jolly Ranchers off the shelf.
R asks a few times if I want to try it and me being on an eternal diet said no a few times. I finally give in, mentally agree to be present for my child’s imagination, and say “if we are going to do this, we need to park, sit in the car, and really feel it.” She agrees. We each take our “lozenge”.
After exploring the flavor in our mouths, R says, “what do you think?” Not sure how to answer I ask her what she thinks. She smiles mischievously and says, “I asked you first”.
I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and say “it reminds me of Daddy’s laugh. He had a great laugh. I think of the good memories. What does it remind you of?”
She says smiling “it reminds me of your’s and Daddy’s wedding, you dancing around and my cousin as the flower girl.”
I pause for a moment wondering why she chose a memory that didn’t include her. Had she forgotten all the memories? I smile and say, “that is my memory. What do you remember of you and Daddy?”
She says, “I remember him putting me to sleep.” When I ask her what else, she responds with a moody reply, “this lozenge thing was a bad idea. I didn’t know you would want to talk about feelings. Blah, Blah, Blah. Just thought you would feel it.” That was my clue to end the conversation. We were entering emotional territory. I drive the car off to pick up her sister.
A few minutes later M gets into the car and R offers her a lozenge. R tells her it is made up of a special ingredient to allow you to feel sad and remember Daddy. M says, “I think the special ingredient is tears. I taste the tears and remember.”