Some People Are Gone, Some People Just Aren't Coming Back

My dad introducing Leo to FDR
Leo has a hard time letting go of the people he cares about. And he's lost a lot of important people in the last few years, due to natural cycles (therapists), divorce (a distressing number of friends), and, yes, death. He keeps asking for them all. Years later. Often out of the blue. Because my son's elephantine memory and communication skills are often out of sync. But I think he's staring to understand the distinction between people who are really gone, and people we just don't see anymore.

Last night he announced, randomly, that "Pepere is not here. Pepere is coming tomorrow." (Pepere being my dad, who died in 2006.)

I responded, with a hitch in my voice, "No, baby, Pepere is gone. Pepere is not coming back."

Then Leo said, "Scott is all gone. Scott is NOT coming tomorrow." (Scott being one of the divorce casualties, as well as one of Leo's favorite people.)

I said, "No, Scott is not all gone. We might see Scott again."

Leo paused. "Pepere is all gone. We'll see Scott tomorrow."

Maybe, Sweetie. I hope so. I really miss Scott, too.

And I have to admit, Leo's considering that my dad may really be gone makes my heart twist, because as long as Leo didn't accept it, part of me didn't have to, either.

(I may sleep with a copy of Dale Carnegie, my dad's social skills bible, under my pillow tonight.)


  1. This one really hit me hard. Charlie does the same: Talks constantly of people (therapists esp) from several years back. It's his 'lag" in operation.

    Beautiful photo of your dad and Leo.

  2. heartbreaking and tough to have loss and try to understand it -- when possibly it's not understandable even to us as adults.



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