I know it sounds overly dramatic to speak of a lost, inanimate, threadbare, much-in-need-of-a-wash, favourite comfy toy in that way, but that’s how I feel. I can’t even begin to imagine how DD feels.
Today she went to the mall with Daddy and her brothers. The boys had their pre-return-to-school-after-mid-term-break hair appointment. DD was just tagging along. Despite the usual gazillion warnings to leave H at home, it appears she didn’t. Despite the usual gazillion pleas to leave H in the car just in case she gets lost, it appears she didn’t.
Today was the day H did not return home.
It was not until DH returned home that it became apparent that H was missing. DH asked our helper, L to scour the house just in case H had not left it in the first place. Then, he hopped in the car with all 3, and drove back to the mall to re-trace their steps. In the meantime, DH texted me at work to let me know what had happened. My heart sank and tears welled. I could hardly focus. I just wanted to drop everything and leave the office to join the search party. But that was not possible.
Unfortunately, the searches at home and at the mall proved unfruitful.
A quick-thinking DH immediately took a very distressed DD to Build-a-Bear to make a new cuddly toy. She chose a German shepherd pup. Her twin brother suggested she name her, H, after her predecessor. H it is; a constant reminder.
On my way home from work I tried to bolster myself for my beautiful DD. I was in bits. I cried, I sobbed, I couldn’t think of anything to say that would make the hurt go away. I just wanted to scoop her up in my arms and magic away all the pain.
DH had said DD was holding up fine. New H had been successful as a distraction. I couldn’t quite believe it. But, sure enough, when I got home, DD was ‘fine’. ‘Fine’ on the surface. I dreaded bedtime.
At bedtime the tears flowed from both DD and me. She missed her desperately. It feels like we have lost a member of the family. In saying that, I do not mean for one second that losing a worn soft toy could equate to losing a real member of the family, but when you are 7 years old, and don’t understand much more than fun and playtime, it looks like your world has fallen apart.
I cried for my daughter. I cried for H; the thought of her on her own after all those years of comfort she offered DD made it all the more unbearable.
Like the loss of anyone close, we are taking it day by day, moment by moment. We encourage DD not to deny her sadness, to feel and to cry. Hopefully, day by day, moment by moment, her pain will ease.
Tonight she asked if I still have the photo of H on the kitchen table. Thankfully I have. She wants to frame it and hang it in her room. My brave, strong little girl.