I always knew that I would have to have the conversation about Mr Loco dying numerous times over the course of Baby Loco growing up. I knew she would be going through the stages of grief over the course of her childhood. I have been very honest with Baby Loco. I have explained what I could to her starting at 16 months when Mr Loco died. We talk about him often. His pictures are all over the house as is some of his stuff. She knows which shirts of mine are “daddy shirts”, she knows which of her dresses are “daddy dresses” and she likes to wear his hat. She has a few photo albums and of course she has some toys that were gifts from her daddy. When she realized she had blue eyes and her mama had brown eyes, we talked about how her daddy had blue eyes and that she has beautiful blue eyes just like her daddy. We often talk about how he died and that means we can’t see him anymore but we do have lots of pictures and we have lots of stories to share about him.
She has occasionally mentioned that she misses her daddy and we stop to hug and talk about Mr Loco. She says it in the saddest voice ever and I just want to scoop her up and make it all better. She is becoming more aware that other people have a daddy that they hang out with and she does not. It breaks my heart. I wasn’t expecting those feelings to come up so soon. I really thought it would be a few years away. The past few days have been rough. Baby Loco was tossing and turning as she was going to sleep the other night. She mentioned that she had blue eyes like her daddy. It wasn’t out of the ordinary. We chatted about her blue eyes and she pulled away and flopped on the end of the bed and burst into tears. She said she missed her daddy. I instantly teared up as well. She was so very sad. Hearing your daughter cry out “I miss my daddy!” is very hard. Knowing there is nothing you can do to fix it is extremely difficult as a mom. I scooped her up and we shared a few tears and missed Mr Loco together. I asked her if she wanted me to tell her a story about her daddy. She did. So I started rambling about Mr Loco as she nursed and calmed down. Every time I wrapped up a story she requested “more stories ’bout my daddy” and so I would go on. I must have continued talking for over 30 minutes until she fell asleep.
This has now become her request any time we go to sleep. At nap time we usually just nurse to sleep. Now she requests stories about her daddy. At bedtime we usually read stories and then nurse to sleep. Last night we read 12, yes TWELVE books and then she requested daddy stories. Today she has nursed like she is a baby and has requested lots of daddy stories. I can see how comforted she is by hearing the stories. I have definitely shed a lot more tears over the last few days.
I miss Mr Loco so very much and don’t want Baby Loco to hurt, ever. Our life is such that I can’t keep her from the hurt. It is there front and center and we will always be working our way through different parts of it. Baby Loco doesn’t know any different but she knows that we are in a sad predicament. It sucks. She had a daddy who was so excited to be a daddy and adored her so very much. I am sad not only for the loss of my best friend but of seeing the two of them over the years. I am sad that she will not grow up with our healthy relationship as an example. I am sad that she will not grow up with her empowering and feminist father. I am sad for the loss of the science experiments he wanted to do with her. I am sad over all of the music he wanted to share with her. I am sad for all of the short person jokes that would be cracked at my expense when Baby Loco exceeded me in height. Mr Loco is missed so much. Life with Baby Loco is amazing and full of wonder and love. Life without Mr Loco is difficult and full of sadness and heartbreak. The balance of these emotions is the new normal.