To The Parents Preparing For School to Begin – A Note From A Grieving Family

2018, Creating Change, Family, grief, Lucas, Parenting, Toby

Lucas will start Pre-K this fall. With his first school application, we had to write a letter about our family. I was absolutely not ready for this. I knew we’d have to do it one day and know this is only the start of these conversations with teachers, administration, coaches, and families that we will meet along the way. But the triggers it brought were another layer of grief we were not prepared for.

The administration was very welcoming and told us that one of the first things classes do is a family tree, which also has a discussion about family amongst the children and asked if Luke would be comfortable with the conversation. I both cried and beamed with joy.

Luke is so proud of Toby. He may not say that exactly, but he talks about him multiple times daily, includes him in his stories and games and in his prayers at night. I have no doubt he will proudly talk about Toby during family discussions and projects at school.

Lucas & Toby – July 2016

I saw this article from Today Show and it triggered the tears. I don’t even have to read the article. We’re not even there yet, Toby would only be 2. But I know this will be me in two years and every year after that, for the next 20.

Every sport, every play, every class project, he will visually be missing from the class of 2034, but I know I will watch that Class and wonder he would be.

My mothering heart prays that school, classmates, and other parents will be kind to my little boys. This is our family, not by choice, God knows. These boys are our life and we will talk about them proudly, holding Luke & our Rainbow tightly and doing the same with Toby’s memory.

If by chance your family has a grieving family in your class, whether you know from the first day of school or don’t learn about it until mid-year, please be kind.

You may not understand. We don’t expect you to. We just ask for you to be kind to our boys – they don’t know any different and to them, we aren’t different. Luke is a big brother. Toby is his little brother, who to him loves baseball and the color green.

And if you really want to experience something amazing, take a moment to ask Luke about Toby. You may just find yourself hugging your own kiddos a little tighter that evening and thanking God for the blessings you get to kiss goodnight and tuck into bed each evening.

Remember, we are a family, just like you.

One of our sons just got called home a little sooner, to do God’s work.

 

Article from Today
Author: Jennifer Swartvagher

Dear Kindergarten teacher: My son will be absent on the first day of school

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