I have written about the fact that Wesley is with Julia and me in our hearts and is part of our daily life and conversation. But Julia is starting to take it a bit farther and I think it is normal. Or as normal as can be expected from a 4 year old who just lost her father.
On Sunday we were surrounded by sweet college friends of Wesley’s and Julia was fascinated that there are people who knew Daddy before Mommy did. This couple had long been Wesley’s best friends and on holidays when we visited Wesley’s family they would host a brunch to celebrate Wesley coming home. The old college gang would be together again and while they all had wives and husbands and children, no time would have passed and the old jokes would be laughed about and Wesley was in many ways home again. He loved them and they loved him.
On Sunday we were together again, but the absence we all felt by Wesley not being at the table laughing and making witty remarks was an unspoken but poignant fact. Well, that is for most of us.
Julia was insistent that Daddy was there with us. He went into his closet to put on his shoes when we were getting ready to head to the restaurant, he sat in the front seat of the car on the drive there and he had fried catfish and onion rings for dinner. I worried that our friends, or more importantly their children would be uncomfortable with Julia interacting with the empty space beside her but they took it in stride. Because that is part of how she is dealing with Wesley being gone. She cannot see him, but he is with her in death as much as he was in life. They discuss which of her baby dolls should wear the purple dress, he hugs her from Heaven, he tries to sneak bites of her oatmeal at breakfast…all of which he did when he was with us in life. He is not truly gone for her.
I think this is a normal response for Julia to have. But there is no book I am following in this experience so I am left with my gut feeling. And my gut feels pretty good that she is talking and laughing and loving her Daddy even from far away.