Unca, not Dadda…

This week Doug’s brother and nephew came to visit.

I has really been looking forward to it. Just some time around his family again. Getting to know my nephew a little more. Having both boys spend copious amounts of time with each other. It has been fun.

It has also been very hard.

My reaction to situations like these is to supress the emotions as best as I can. To not cry every single moment. The ‘putting on a good face’ has become my main mask that I wear.

This week has been especially hard.

You see, Doug’s brother and him look like family. They have their differences physically but you can tell that they are related. This week it hasn’t been about the differences, it has been about the similarities. LiDo thinks that this is his Dadda. C walks out of the room and LiDo runs and yells over and over ‘dadda dadda’. It’s a word that I have longed to hear him say and now it has become a word that is like a red hot poker to my heart. We try and try to get him to say Unca, Uncle, anything besides Dadda. We say Unca, he says Dadda.

But LiDo is not the only one. As I lay on the couch the other night in my usual spot, C was sitting in Doug’s spot. I was drifting off to sleep and looked at his legs wrapped under the blanket Doug used to lay under, saw his hand and arm resting on his thigh. The similarities hit me. There was Doug’s hand, his strong hand sitting there on my sofa again. His legs crossed under the blanket. There he was. He wasn’t gone. He was here beside me again where he should be, with his son calling him Dadda.

Then I noticed the differences. Doug’s wrist was thicker. His nails were different. His legs were different around the ankles. He wore beat up shoes where the toe rubber was always flipping off and coming apart. The differences. The differences remind me that Doug is indeed gone. I am face to face with his death. I try to look away but because the similarities are here it is impossible to look away.

Not being able to look away and shove everything back…shows me once again that I am not dealing with his death. That I am not facing it head on. I don’t know how to. I don’t want to. I cry, I scream, I keep busy. After this week though I don’t know that I can face it head on. I am more worried about LiDo. What his reaction will be once Unca leaves. I know he will search for him in the house. He will look at his Daddy’s pictures and point and say Dadda while at the same time thinking he was just here. He is too young to notice the differences. He is too young to know the differences. I just don’t want him hurting again. I don’t want the dreams and sleepless nights to start again. They have gotten less and less over the months but they are still there. Now, I know it will start up again. A hard part too is trying to figure out how I help myself, help him, help us.

He has been so happy while Unca has been here. He is always happy but just to have this person here, this person that reminds him of his Dadda, the fun that they had together, the laughter. I see that in his face. I see the face that is in the pictures of him and his Dadda laughing and playing. It’s been 9 months since I saw that face. My heart hurts. I hurt. What little air is left in my room has been taken out again. I can’t breath.

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