Tonight, I was reminded of that again.
Every once in awhile Sam will bring Toby up. Honestly, I don't think he remembers much about Toby. Sam was 3 when Toby died but he only knew him for 7 weeks. They weren't old enough to start playing yet. They didn't interact often. When they did, it was great, but it takes Sam awhile to start warming up.
So tonight Sam randomly* asked us why Toby died. We told him that Toby had been sick but that we didn't know he was sick. A few minutes later, Sam said, "Mommy, I'm sorry I didn't tell you Toby was sick. I meant to, but I forgot."
This isn't the first time he's said something like this. Another time, he told us that he was sorry that he couldn't make Toby grow up-that he'd tried but he couldn't.
Yesterday, in the middle of a conversation, he off-handedly remarked that "IF Iris grows up..."
It's hard to know what our surviving children feel. Guilt that they somehow couldn't stop it? Fear that it will happen to them?
When I was pregnant with Iris, people would remark that "Sam must be so excited!" Um, no. To Sam, babies meant screaming, crying, ambulances, death, and funerals. We would try to convince him that Iris was not going to die (like we knew) and he would shrug and say, "But some babies do" and we couldn't argue with that. Instead of trying to force excitement on him, we just let it go. Now, almost a year later, he's starting to get used to the idea of Iris being around.
Dealing with our surviving children and their emotions is a whole other level of sadness and guilt.
*not totally random. My uncle passed away today and we were telling Sam about his death.