I am so at a loss as to what happened tonight and how to deal with it. 8 months ago FIL died suddenly (heart attack). He and DS were very close and he always called DS his little buddy. After he died, DS I guess didn't want to face being sad about it, because for the first month or so, he insisted that he wasn't sad about Papaw dying, he was sad about his toad Herman dying (a year before). After that month, he admitted that he was sad about Papaw.
He never really cried, even at the funeral, but he did seem sad. He also seemed to understand what had happened and where Papaw's spirit was and all that. Every couple of weeks, he'd look sad and say, "I'm sad that Papaw died" and we'd hug him and he'd be fine.
Well, tonight we were cuddling and doing our bedtime prayer and song, same as always, when he suddenly said, "I'm sad that Herman and Papaw died" and started crying. I was shocked, since he'd never cried about it before. DH came in and we all cuddled and DS just broke down bawling. He asked to see pics of FIL and we pulled some up and he ended up almost hysterical, reaching out toward the picture, saying "I want Papaw!"
We ended up printing out a pic of DS and FIL and taping it beside DS's bed. He's now laying there with his hand on the picture, crying off and on (DH is with him). We've talked about various things we can do to remember FIL and we're getting him an urn necklace like DH's so DS can have some of FIL's ashes. I don't know what else to do. I don't even know how to get him calmed down enough to sleep, since it's after midnight and he's still freaking out intermittently.
This is the first time I've ever dealt with grief in a child and I honestly have no idea what to expect. Is it normal for it to take this long for the reality of it to hit and for him to really grieve? Is there anything I can do besides cuddling and saying things like "I miss him too" and "It's ok to be sad"?
Mandy, )O( Proud mommy of Taylor (1/6/05) and Abigail (4/21/11) Loving wife of my gamer boy Michael. Blog link in my profile!