I had to run a few errands today, after the last one DS and I decided to make a stop at a local bakery to grab a sweet treat for everyone in the house. On our way over there we passed an older cemetary. DS noticed it and said "mom, there are dead bodies over there". I didn't see the cemetary right away so I was a little confused and asked him to repeat what he said. We talked about when people die they can be buried there if that's what they want. DS asked if they turn into zombies once they are buried. I told him no and we talked about it for a few minutes. After a bit he asked where 'baby brother Jayce' was buried. We talked some more and I explained that he was cremated.. of course I didn't go into detail about how it's done. He asked what that meant though, so I said that his body was turned into ashes.. sorta like sand. He said "so my brother is the sandman??" Kids take everything so literal. I forget that sometimes, well, most the time.
Once we got home DS wanted to see the "sand". So I took him to it and showed him. He thought it was pretty cool. He said things like "that's my baby brother"!! Shortly after that we went out for dinner. On the way there and back be talked about J often. Saying different things like how he missed him. Once AS got home from gymnastics, DS realllllly wanted to show her their brother's sand. So I got it down for him and let him show her. AS was a bit startled. I guess all this time I assumed that she knew he was cremated. She didn't.. she thought he was buried. She thought that after his memorial service when she seen him lying in the casket, they took him to be buried. She was visibly upset, but not crying. She said she didn't ever want to be ashes. I had to explain to her why we didn't bury him. Our reasoning is: Since we are military, we will move. If we buried him here and got orders somewhere else, we would have to leave him behind. I can't do that. My husband can't do that. We just couldn't. After I explained that, she understood and was OK with it. She felt much better. She was still upset that the sand in front of her was her brother, but that is understandable since she just found out. She's seen this pretty little container on the shelf for the last couple years and she had no idea that there was something in it!
I feel horrible that I didn't explain that to her. However, now that I am talking (typing) this out I think maybe it's better that she's just now finding out. She's 10, she was only 8 when this happened and I don't know if she would have fully understood. Maybe I am just trying to make myself feel better since I failed in the explaining of this.
After all conversations were over tonight DS decided that he wanted his baby brother Jayce to sleep with him tonight. So, we took the pretty little urn up to DS's room and put it on his shelf. He's now sleeping peacefully with his brother over him.. I love my kids.