Blake asked me to email you with the following: he finds the fact that his father died after Christmas (before he was born) very upsetting, and it might impact how cheerful he is at school.
For context, Blake and I were talking tonight about some of what happened in Connecticut. I used broad strokes and did not give many details, but he now knows why there are lock-down drills and why it is important to be quiet during them. We also covered fire drills, and I emphasized the rarity of ever actually needing to do those things because of bad things happening. Our conversation moved toward his late father and the timing of his death. I've striven to be honest with Blake as his age and understanding permit, and we spoke frankly about things I believed we had covered before, but somehow, he'd never fully understood that Daddy Blake died right after Christmas (our wedding anniversary, Christmas, and his death - 1/1/05, in an avalanche - all hit within ten days of each other). We cried about it together, and he's wrestling with missing a man he never got to know, as I was eight months pregnant when I was widowed. He said he is sad about it every day at school, which I found bittersweet, but a stretch. I think he's probably more lonely than anything, but having something specific to pin hard feelings on is usually helpful at this age.
All I would ask of you is that you be aware of any unusual or subdued moods. You can ask him if that's what's bothering him, but we're now treading a fine line of true emotion and excuse-making for poor decisions... I don't want him blaming sorrow about his loss on every little misbehavior he exhibits, yet I want to be sensitive to his increased understanding about life, death, loss, and the most wonderful/horrible time of the year. I hope you understand why we need to bring you in on this, and we appreciate your kindness to him always.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need further information. I can talk about it openly, and I think we'll be spending some time (as he desires) looking at pictures, telling stories, and possibly watching some videos. If you'd like to borrow my copy of "A Dozen More Turns," it does a very sensitive job of telling the story of the weekend big Blake died. I think I also have a copy of the Storm Stories episode. I'm not sure if the delayed publicity will help or hurt my son, so I'm not sure what I'll show him yet, but those videos could give you a fuller version of where we're coming from.
Thank you so much,
I have wept and prayed and wept and prayed about the tragedy in Connecticut. I have no wise words, but I have read the wise words of others that have helped me as I process such an act of satanic evil. And ultimately, I trust that God is good, all the time. Even when I cannot see it, God is good.
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."