Family,Loss

Daddy’s a star in the sky

Telescope http://rainbeaubelle.com

Telescope http://rainbeaubelle.com

We were honest with our children when their dad was diagnosed with cancer last year. Pretty much from the start we made sure they knew what was going on, and even though they found it just as hard to process as we did, at least they can look back and say they were involved, there were no secrets.

Talking about the inevitable is one thing, but it seems working out what happens afterwards is quite another. I’m fielding questions every single day about death and daddy, wiping away tears when they cry that they miss him, while majorly multi-tasking with whatever else life throws at us at the same time.

While there are these big questions, so big that most adults don’t know the answers, there are still meals to be made, clothes to be washed and homework to be done. I still have to get up in the morning and get everyone ready, so I can go to work and sit in the office which I used to share with the love of my life.

Now that he’s gone, I’m still telling Sam and Flo the truth, but it’s peppered with a bit of what I would call necessary magic.

It’s this need for magic, and a little bit of hope, which led us to this new family truth – that daddy is now a star in the sky.

Star certificate

Florence is still only two and the concept of death is way out of her reach, even though sadly she has had to be told about it so young. Even this afternoon she asked me if daddy would be at home when we got back to the house. It’s like no matter how many times I tell her her daddy was poorly and he died, she still thinks he’s going to be coming back to see her.

Saying her dad’s a star is a way of showing her that his soul is out there somewhere, giving her hope and a feeling that she’s being looked after from above. I mean it could be true, right? Who really knows what happens when we die anyway? The thought that her dad is shining on high is one so lovely that I’m more than happy for it to be my little white lie for now.

Flo even asked our childminder, just before she went on holiday, if when she was up in the plane could she please have a look in the sky for her daddy? It’s enough to melt the hardest of hearts.

Sam loves the star story too, and Roger’s sister Jehane has just done a really lovely thing and named an actual star after him. So whenever we look up in the dark, there’s always one of us saying ‘Hi Daddy!’ and I’m always wondering if he really can see us or not. Maybe if he can he’s sending that extra bit of light and hope our way.

Rog bought Sam a new telescope as the one he had never really worked, and they always planned to go out stargazing together. As he bought it in the springtime and died in the summer, it was never dark enough to try before Sam went to bed. In fact, the telescope was packed away in its box in the wardrobe, waiting for the right time to be brought out as a present. Sadly, that time never came and it was forgotten about until the other week when Sam was allowed to take a telescope to beavers to try to look at the night sky.

His eyes lit up when I told him the story behind it and now he proudly packs it away in its case, telling anyone who’ll listen that his dad bought it for him. He’s said a few times he wonders if he can see his dad in the sky, even if he’s probably pretending it’s for Flo’s benefit rather than his own.

I’m sure he can see his dad, if he looks hard enough. He’ll be one of the brightest stars there is.

x Julia

Space books

Running in Lavender
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43 Comments

  • Reply
    Someone's Mum
    February 20, 2016 at 7:41 am

    This is heart-breaking. I honestly can’t imagine how you are coping – how you carry on and remain so calm and reassuring for them when their questions must focus your own grief into a knife-blow. But I guess we find reserves of strength for our children we never knew we had. I think your white lie is just fine. And even if he isn’t a star, he *is* there. Every day his influence shines through in your lives. You have my thoughts and well-wishes. xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 6:06 am

      Thank you for your kind comment. It’s just a case of one foot before the other most days, and the kids really do keep me going. xx

  • Reply
    Kate
    February 20, 2016 at 7:50 am

    this is beautiful. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I so admire your strength and creativity in taking care of your family. Wishing you all the best xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Thanks Kate x

  • Reply
    Beth @ Twinderelmo
    February 20, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I just like Sam too love the telescope story and love that the night sky and star gazing is always going to be synonymous with their Dad xx
    Beth @ Twinderelmo recently posted…Should My Two Years Olds Be At Nursery?My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 6:05 am

      I hope he always remembers it, I’ll have to keep reminding him! x

  • Reply
    Carol Ramsay
    February 20, 2016 at 8:41 am

    This is such a wonderful post. It’s desperately sad but beautiful at the same time.
    I’m the least religious person I know but I believe that our souls must go somewhere, all that energy and love can’t just vanish it has to be somewhere so why not in the sky, why not as a star.
    I love the telescope story and feel an artwork coming on. Will let you know when it’s done x

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 6:04 am

      Thanks Carol! That’s the thing isn’t it, things don’t just disappear so he must be around somewhere! x

  • Reply
    Samantha Rickelton
    February 20, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Ah lovely – I am a grown up and I believe our loved ones shine brightly in the sky. It’s comforting xx
    Samantha Rickelton recently posted…The new mum’s survival guide to your first holiday abroadMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 6:03 am

      It really is a massive comfort, thank you! x

  • Reply
    Notmyyearoff
    February 20, 2016 at 10:11 am

    It’s such a beautiful thing to do and I love the thought of you just having to look up to say hello. That would be really comforting I think. It’s strange but I think a lot about you guys and Roger. Hope you’re ok lovely: sending you lots of love xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 6:03 am

      Ah thanks Tas, that is lovely of you. We are doing ok, just have our big ups and downs. Well I do! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    February 20, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Thats such a beautiful way of explaining such a hard concept to a child. Your daughters innocence breaks my heart
    Charlotte recently posted…Stop Existing. Start LivingMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 6:02 am

      Mine too! Thank you Charlotte x

  • Reply
    Vicki
    February 20, 2016 at 10:49 am

    This is such a beautiful, thoughtful thing to do. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for children to understand, process & deal with the death of a parent. This is a lovely way of keeping Roger with you & a lovely thing for the kids to tell their friends. I will say hello to Roger when the stars come out x
    Vicki recently posted…Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating TonerMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Thanks Vicki. I know he would always appreciate a hello! What a lovely thought xx

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    February 20, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Julia this is so beautiful and necessary magic is the perfect way to describe it. Although I would also add a certain amount of fate the Rog bought Sam the telescope and how wonderful for him to get a present from his Dad. xx
    sarah christie recently posted…Falling Off Segways And Playing Golf, Q Hop Day 6My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:53 am

      I think you’re right, it’s funny how things turn out isn’t it xx

  • Reply
    Colin Moneypenny
    February 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Lovely moving post – Rog was a star when he was with us so no reason to believe anything different now. You’re doing a fabulous job X

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:52 am

      Colin, you are so right. Thanks so much, that means a lot xx

  • Reply
    mummyofboygirltwins
    February 20, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Very moving post, and how lovely that Roger star is shining SO bright for you all. Hugs xx
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  • Reply
    Hannah Budding Smiles
    February 20, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    This is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking and I think it’s so wonderful that you can all look for the brightest star and see Roger in its beauty and brightness. Loads of love to you all xx
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…Real Life Flat Lays and Photos // How To Avoid Being An Instagram SensationMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:51 am

      Thank you! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    February 20, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Just stumbled across your blog and my heart is breaking for you all. You are truly amazing, and I can’t even comprehend what you must be feeling, but know that you are doing the most incredible job of raising such balanced children. Sending so many hugs x

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:51 am

      Thank you so much, what a lovely comment and thanks for reading xx

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    February 21, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Sam is just so gorgeous, whenever you write about him he just sounds so amazing, you have so much to be proud of. I imagine it must be so hard when flo asks if daddy will be home, but it is lovely that she still has beautiful memories. You are a beautiful family xx
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…Questions asked, answers given. Find out more about me than you probably ever wanted to know!My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:50 am

      You’re right Mackenzie, he is a little star himself. Thanks for commenting xx

  • Reply
    Harry's Honest Mummy
    February 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    This has had me in tears reading it and yet it is just so lovely Julia. Your sister in law’s idea to name a star after him is so nice and something the kids can hold on to. #SundayStars
    Harry’s Honest Mummy recently posted…Magic Moments // The Islands Chester ZooMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:50 am

      Thank you! xx

  • Reply
    Kayleigh
    February 21, 2016 at 10:28 am

    In tears reading this, what a beautiful story. I’m so sorry for your loss and so glad you’ve found a story you can all share together as a family.
    Kayleigh recently posted…Treaclemoon GiveawayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:50 am

      Thank you so much x

  • Reply
    Educating Roversi
    February 21, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    A beautiful post and what a wonderful idea, to name a star after their daddy. My dad died when I was 17 and I struggled to process it so I can’t imagine what’s it’s like for little children and you, coping with your own grief and supporting your children. Brave and admirable lady #sundaystars
    Educating Roversi recently posted…Travelling Roversi #1My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:49 am

      Thanks so much. I honestly think that being young has been a blessing for them, as any older and it would no doubt have been a lot more difficult for them. They also just keep me going! xx

  • Reply
    Heledd _ Running in Lavender
    February 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Julia this is a beautiful, moving post. You have such a lovely way of writing about your difficult experiences with the kids. I love the thought of Roger being a shining star watching over the three of you. Thank you so much for linking up to #SundayStars xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:48 am

      Thanks Heledd, that means a lot xx

  • Reply
    Hannah
    February 23, 2016 at 12:04 am

    This is such a heartfelt moving post, your children sound amazing and you sound so strong. Naming a star was a beautful idea. My Mum died when I was eleven, I found it really hard, when i read your posts I just want to give you all a huge hug. You are so brave, I am so so sorry for your loss xx
    Hannah recently posted…Simple Living – Part 1 PossessionsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      February 23, 2016 at 5:46 am

      Thank you Hannah, I am sorry to hear you lost your mum so young, hugs are welcome! x

  • Reply
    mamasvib
    February 23, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Such a beautifully written post Julia and a lovely way to cope with such a sad situation. Remember though that you are a star in their lives too- so strong, bright and brave xxxx much love
    mamasvib recently posted…V. I. BUYS: Welcome to #mamamondays….Rave-A-Roo, Cuddledry & PinterestMy Profile

  • Reply
    Tracey Williams
    February 23, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    What a beautiful and moving post Julia. It must be so hard when Florence asks whether daddy will be at home. 2 is such a young age to grasp that her dear daddy has gone. What a lovely idea, and I am sure Roger is the brightest star in the sky and will bring comfort to both children. Hugs xx
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  • Reply
    C Sutton
    February 24, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    You Want a Physicist to Speak at Your Funeral by Aaron Freeman

    You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

    And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

    And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

    And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.

    Amen.

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    February 27, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Oh darling Julia, this is the most beautiful post. It brought a tear to my eye. It must be so heart breaking when Flo asks if Daddy will be at home. But it is heart-meltingly gorgeous that she asked your childminder to look out of the plane window for Daddy. I think it is so important to instill this hope in children. But I think as adults we need it to. It gives us so much comfort knowing that our loved ones are looking down on us and smiling. And Rog is definitely the brightest star in the sky and he is shining for his beautiful family. #SundaysStars. Hugs Lucy xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…100happydays – part oneMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 2, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Death is a little softer to talk to kids about when you have something like this to rely on. It nice that it is a comfort to them.
    My kids were 2 and 4 when their sister died and we were very open with them then too, and they still ask when she will come to live with us. I think in some ways it helped to prepare them last month when their Grandpa suddenly passed, but again they ask when he is coming out of heaven to play again. I feel you when you say they are too young to be introduced to it, but they are so emotionally in tune to others and mature with things as a result of it!

    x

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers/Mini Ventures
    March 6, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Such a beautiful gift and a lovely way to think of Rog, up there in the sky watching down on you all incredibly proud.xx
    Mini Travellers/Mini Ventures recently posted…Sunday StarsMy Profile

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