A Child's Loss- Will They Remember Dad?

Welcome to the December 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Childhood Memories

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about memories of growing up — their own or the ones they’re helping their children create. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Our family the weekend before my husband died 
We unexpectedly lost our husband and Father in September. This has put our family in a state of shock and disbelief. It's almost as if we're in some sort of bad dream. We still expect him to come walking in the door, ready to distribute hugs, at any moment. Reality is slowly settling in no matter how resistant we are to it-he's not coming home.
This sudden loss has left me with so many questions about how my children will remember their Dad. He was such an amazing and involved Dad, I want them to have as many memories as possible. Mostly I want them to have a general feeling of how much their Dad loved them. I specifically worry about my three year old. Is he to young to have any memories of his Dad? The thought of him growing up and not remembering his Dad breaks my heart. His Dad played with him every morning. They played Pirates and Spider Man.They sung songs, wrestled and read books. It was there special Father and Son time. This made school time easier. I was then able to work with Big Z while the two of them played together. Will he remember those fun times with his Daddy or will he remember the cold hospital and the confusion that ensued? Will the flocks of people at our house for the following week be etched in his brain instead of the fun times he shared wrestling with his Daddy?
Our last Daddy and Daughter pic at Clingman's Dome 
I know Big Z will have memories of her Dad that she holds close to her heart. She lost her sister when she was a bit older than Lil' Z is now, and I know her memories of Bella are very thin. Though she has a few strong memories of her Sister.  But she is ten now and  her Daddy was her best friend.  He was an adventurous man that made every family trip memorable. I know she is old enough to remember that general feeling of being truly loved by her Dad. She has started a journal that I hope will be helpful in working through her feelings of losing her Dad and writing down special memories. 
For now we're talking about Daddy a lot. We're recounting many of our special times with Dad through stories and pictures. We talk about him with family and friends and try to have them  share their favorite memory with Dad. I hope this will be enough to for Lil' Z to have a good basis for memories with his Dad. Ian, my husband, helped us live a rich life together as a family. I am forever grateful for the memories we created together. I just hope the kids can have some recollection of these and hold them close in their heart. 
What was your earliest childhood memory? How old were you? Do you have suggestions for helping the kids remember their Dad? 


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Childhood Memories of Peace, Support, Joy, and Love — Amber at Heart Wanderings wants to make sure the majority of the memories that her children have as a part of their family are ones that are positive and help support the amazing people that they are now and will become as adults.
  • Hand Made Baby Books — Destany at They Are All of Me talks about why baby books are important to her for preserving memories of her childrens first years, and shows how she made one by hand for each child.
  • Can your childhood memories help you keep your cool?Here's To A Boring Year uses memories of being a child to keep her on the path to peaceful parenting.
  • Inter-Generational Memories {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about her own childhood memories, and what she hopes her daughter will remember in the future.
  • Snapshots — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings reflects on the ways our childhood memories appear to us, and hopes her own daughter's childhood will be one she remembers as being happy and fulfilled.
  • What makes the perfect parent? — In a guest post on Natural Parents Network, Mrs Green from Little Green Blog reflects on camp follow and camp no-follow...
  • In My Own Handwriting — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about her journals and the hope that they will be able to keep her stories alive even if she isn't able to.
  • Candlelight, fairylight, firelight — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud re-discovers the ingredients for bringing magic to life, especially at Christmas.
  • Making Memories (or) How We Celebrate Christmas — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about creating new memories at Christmas, and the joy their adventures bring to her whole family.
  • The Importance of Recording Feelings and Emotions and Not Just the Experience — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares why she puts pen to paper every day to record more than just her experiences as a mother and her daughter's experiences as a child. Jennifer looks at the importance of capturing feelings and emotions that accompany the experience.
  • Dredged up — Kenna at Million Tiny Things has been forced to recount childhood memories at bedtime, due to the failure of her middle-aged imagination. She resists, of course.
  • Crafting Memories — Handmade is what makes the holidays special for Christy at Eco Journey In the Burbs, and she wants to create the same connection with her daughters that she remembers with her mother and grandmother.
  • My Childhood Memories; beacons of light in the darkness Stone Age Parent shares the impact of her childhood memories on her life as a parent today, listing some of her many rich childhood memories and how they now act as beacons of light helping her in the complex, often confusing world of child-rearing.
  • 10 Ways I Preserve Memories for My Children — From video interviews to time capsules, Dionna at Code Name: Mama wants to make sure her children have many different ways to cherish their childhood memories. Dionna's carnival post features ten of the ways she preserves memories; check out her Pinterest board for more ideas.
  • Memories of my mother — Luschka at Diary of a First Child remembers her mother and the fondest moments of her childhood, especially poignant as she sits by her mother's sickbed writing.
  • Creating Happy Childhood Memories through Family Traditions — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why family traditions are so important to her and her family and shares how she’s worked to create traditions for her children.
  • Traditional Christmas Tree — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep remembers the great times spent with her family driving for the Christmas Tree and the lessons learned.
  • Wet Socks and Presents — Kat at MomeeeZen writes about her favorite Christmas childhood memory and why it's so special. And she hopes one day her kids will also have a feel-good memory of their own to look back on.
  • Stuff does not equal memories — Lauren at Hobo Mama learns that letting go does not mean failing to remember.
  • A Child's Loss- Will They Remember Dad? — Erica at ChildOrganics writes about their family's loss of their husband and father. She trys to find answers to the question: Will they remember their Dad?
  • Childhood Memories - Hers and Mine — Jorje of Momma Jorje wished for her daughter the same passions and experiences she loved as a child, but learns the hard way to accept whatever passions strike in her child.
  • Holiday Non-TraditionsErika Gebhardt enjoys her family's tradition of not having traditions for the holidays.


  1. I'm so so sorry for your loss. I think what you are doing is exactly what you need to do to ensure your littlest remembers your husband. Talk about him, look at pictures of him, keep refreshing those memories by reliving them in word. Maybe you could make a picture book (in shutterfly or a similar site) with pictures of them and their father, talking about specific things that he did with each of them.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Oh, my gosh, Erica, I'm still so stunned and sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine what you all are going through.

    It sounds like you're doing a lot to help your kids work through the grief and remember their dad. I like the journaling idea. For your younger one (or older one, too), maybe you could record their memories for them — interview them and write down their answers and stories, or even videotape them talking about their dad.

    My heart is breaking for you, and I wish you peace and strength at this time of year, especially.

  3. Wow. Well I think talking about your memories is helpful. My dad died when I was too young to remember and I wish my mom talked about him more. Even if your youngest can't remember, he will grow up remembering you and your daughter remembering him. Kwim? I'm so sorry your husband died. I'll be thinking of you and your family - Erika @ erikagebhardt.com

  4. I think you are off to an amazing start and keeping a very healthy attitude. I think its important to continue to talk about him, even when its sad. It is all too easy to just not talk about painful topics.

    Much love to you & yours.

  5. Wow. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such a difficult time of your life with us. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. I'm so sorry for you and your family - I can only imagine how tough that must be.

    I think that continuing to talk about their Daddy with your children is very important, even though i imagine it must be a tough thing to do - i think it will reinforce their memories of him and help them keep that connection.

    He sounds like he was a wonderful man. I will be sending good vibes for your family.

  7. I am so sorry for your loss, and wish you the best in making, and keeping precious memories xxx

  8. What a tragedy, I am so very sorry for your loss. That you are able to work on preserving your husbands memory for your children shows that you have amazing strength. Peace be with you.

  9. I'm so sorry for your loss Erica, but I think you are on the right track. Talking about their dad often will help them both remember.

  10. So many hugs. I think the idea of a journal is very special. Perhaps you could create one that shares your own memories of your husband individually and your husband with you and the kids? I know that I would love to read stories from my mom about my grandma - one of my main parental figures.
    Much love to you and your little ones!

  11. I'm so sorry for your loss, Many hugs to you and your family. I am in awe of your strength and the awareness and thoughtfulness you have for your children. You are an inspiration and your children are lucky to have you as their Mama because you are already doing the best you can to help them preserve their memories of their Dad.

  12. That's terrible--I'm so sorry, for you and for your children. I can't even imagine what your family is going through. I like the idea someone had of doing a video interview of your kids talking about their dad. That will be something they can treasure--their real memories, spoken by themselves, that might otherwise fade with time.

    Wishing you peace and blessings in the coming year.

  13. I was adopted at 3 and I still to this day have memories from when I was in the foster home, I remember the very first day of going to live with my permanant family. I think that continuing to talk with your children about their dad and knowing that your oldest is keeping a journal, those momentous memories will stick with them for eternity and I believe your son will remember those mornings of play time with dad as well. Ian was a wonderful man and it was a shock to me when I heard the news. I couldn't imagine losing my husband so young and so suddenly. My heart and prayers go up for you and your family every day.


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