Sunday, August 18, 2013

Garden, Market, Cemetery

Yesterday we had a good day with a mix of activities. First we visited a community garden which I hope to write more about for Still Life Canada's blog soon, then we went to one of the local farmer's markets which I always love doing and seeing what's in season, and then we stopped by Mountain View cemetery to check on the memory seeds we planted for Toren. It was really dry here in Vancouver this summer and I think maybe the seeds didn't get enough water. There were a few little sprouts poking through. I wish I had thought of it, I would have visited more often and watered them.  I got some nice photos of the day:

Yarn hearts at Tupper greenway, a garden inspired by the death of a young man

Thursday, August 08, 2013

New Language

Toren's sister starts kindergarten this year (in a  few weeks!) and I've been trying to teach her some French to prepare for French immersion. It's been hard for me because it's my second language but I feel that we are chipping away at it. Pete's second language is also French so we're ahead that way. Most of the kids who start immersion are from non-francophone families (I read somewhere 80%) so I know it will be fine, it's just something I want to do. The teachers at daycare have been doing some French preparation too, teaching the kids basics like "sauter", "marcher", simple action words.

I think about how language changes, and becomes difficult, when you have a stillborn baby. Verb tenses get tricky (as I wrote about here: Is/Was). Greeting the newly bereaved in support group can be confusing ("Nice to meet you despite the circumstances", "Sorry for your loss, glad you are here"). Dealing with the "grief Olympics" is the worst sport ever (one type of loss is talked about as being "harder" or "easier" to cope with than another, rather than acknowledging that different circumstances make grief different for everyone.) Whether to even mention your dead child when meeting new people is a huge problem to consider (sometimes it's easier to just avoid meeting new people). A new language has to be learned, and in addition, the burden is on the bereaved to teach it to the wider community. As with learning any new skill, it's not easy and it takes time.

Today I realized that I have some very important phrases and sentences in French to teach our daughter:

"Mon petit frère s'appelle Toren."
"Toren est notre bébé."
"Il est mort."
"J'aime mon petit frère."

The basics.

Not easy, and I need time.