I didn’t know how to tell him.

How do you tell a child something so abstract, especially when said child works solely in concrete terms. If he cannot see it, feel it, smell it, taste it, chase it… If he cannot physically experience what you are discussing the subject can be very hard for him. He experiences the world with his whole body and yet, here I was having to explain something that would touch only his heart.

a stuffed golden retriever wearing a crocheted red service vest

little missie b

After she left, J and I went to Build-a-Bear Workshop. He chose a golden retriever to stuff and she came in a cardboard dog house. She has her own food bowl, her own leash, so it was like caring for his girl while his girl was gone. A young lady knit pretend SD vests for stuffed animals and we bought one from her fundraiser. It fit this stuffed animal well. He was excited that his little version had a “jama”, short for “pajama”, which is what he called her working vest. Now she really was a little version of his best friend.

Last night, as J and I were sitting in the bed, I tried to gently talk to him about this big change. This sad news. My words were heard, that I know, but it will take time for him to process. We pet his stuffed golden, who proudly still wore her “jama”, and I carefully took the “jama” off. I told him she never has to work anymore, she can just play now. He hugged her tight and though he watched me put the play vest away, he let me do so.

He knows. The crack in my heart will never be right, seeing that.

Miss Kitty has been working overtime this summer. His beloved black and white stuffed cat along with a few other choice stuffed animals and the little stuffed golden are hollow substitutes for a best friend but he is trying. Every day, he is battling. It is gut wrenching to watch a child fight to feel safe, comfortable, relaxed and at peace. I need to chase his peace with all I have within me. If his mother cannot find him hope and calm, who can?