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Cassie

Will our 4 year old remember Daddy?

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On March 6th, I lost my husband very unexpectedly. He has a 12 year old daughter, I have a 7 year old daughter, and we share a 4 year old son. My daughter still sees her father, but Brandon was much more of a father figure to her. I know she will remember him for all he was. Our son, however, is so young. I'm absolutely terrified that he won't remember his Daddy. I talk about him very often, as do the kids. Lennon (our son) will randomly bring up memories of Brandon. I'm just afraid that this is fresh and his memory of Daddy will fade. How do I ensure that he remembers Daddy, aside from talking about him?

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Truth be told, it will probably fade. To be sure, he may have one or two memories that remain of his father, but I'm afraid there may not be many more. Even if you talk about your husband very often, those will be your memories that you are imprinting on your son. 

 

You can show your son pictures or vids of the two of them together - that may help. But I'm not sure what can be done to have him remember the greatest portion of his interactions with his Dad. He is pretty young. :( 

 

Good luck

 

Mike

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Posted (edited)

I agree with Portside.  ☹️  Most of us don’t remember but a few things around 3-4 yrs old anyway, right?

 

My son was 8 when his dad died in a car accident. His dad was the hands on and buddy for our son.  He coached his teams, camped at cub scouts, picked him up every day from daycare and school due to our work schedules.  Started supper, did homework.  Always there. And my kid is forgetting.   

I talked all the  time to help remember at first.  He seemed to get irritated and then felt guilty he couldn’t remember.  He is 15 now.  He randomly states things now, so a little bit comes out here and there, but no pressure from me. 

I have pics and some videos. He likes to look and hear the stories behind them. 

 

I am sorry.  It is sad and difficult. 

Edited by tybec
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My girls were older when their dad died but we have some ladies in our grief group who lost their husbands when their kids were very young. They will forget but all you can do is remind them, have photos of him, have the other kids share stories, and show any videos or clips of him you may have. It won’t be their actual memories but it can help them know his spirit as a person, his essence so to say. Our hearts break when we see little kids with lost parents at group. There was too little time to build lasting memories. Hugs! 

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I hate to agree with the others, but your 4 year old probably won't remember much.  And frankly, none of them will remember the way you do.  

 

I suppose I have taken solace in knowing this:  My child won't go through the kind of lifelong agony/grief that I will.  My child is a little more free from the kind of pain I've had.  Yes, my kids have a void and they have questions, but the don't have the pain of loss like I do. 

 

(I know it doesn't help much now.....  but maybe someday it'll give you all some perspective on how you're all processing the experience)

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My son was 4 when his Dad died. He is now 16. I agree with Portside, the memories did fade. I talk about him, pictures, we visit his old friends once a year. I feel like my son "knows" his Dad through all of these experiences.

 

However, he does have a few isolated memories. He remembers riding on a golf cart with his Dad, his Dad helping with his TBall team briefly...Sometimes he will hear a song and out of the blue will say "Did Dad listen to this?"- And he did in the car with him. He only has a tiny handful of memories, but I am glad he remembers a few positive things. My other two kids were 3 months and 3. They remember nothing. I believe that age 4 is like the cut out when we can selectively have memories. (although I will tell you the older he gets, his mind will be full of new experiences and they will fade. He will probably though be able to remember a few)

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1 hour ago, Sugarbell said:

My son was 4 when his Dad died. He is now 16. I agree with Portside, the memories did fade. I talk about him, pictures, we visit his old friends once a year. I feel like my son "knows" his Dad through all of these experiences.

 

However, he does have a few isolated memories. He remembers riding on a golf cart with his Dad, his Dad helping with his TBall team briefly...Sometimes he will hear a song and out of the blue will say "Did Dad listen to this?"- And he did in the car with him. He only has a tiny handful of memories, but I am glad he remembers a few positive things. My other two kids were 3 months and 3. They remember nothing. I believe that age 4 is like the cut out when we can selectively have memories. (although I will tell you the older he gets, his mind will be full of new experiences and they will fade. He will probably though be able to remember a few)

I pray that he will remember some of the same things. He does randomly bring up little things that I've sort of pushed away though. So maybe between his family and myself we can keep some memories. You've given me some hope. Thank you!

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My suggestion is to get a nice journal to write down your kids' memories -- big and small -- as they are shared. Things my kids remembered early on faded, so it's nice to have them in writing (although we have not revisited them....) 

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17 hours ago, Abitlost said:

My suggestion is to get a nice journal to write down your kids' memories -- big and small -- as they are shared. Things my kids remembered early on faded, so it's nice to have them in writing (although we have not revisited them....) 

I love this idea! Thank you for your suggestion!

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My kids were 5 and 2 when my husband died. They do not remember him. That said, they do enjoy talking about him, looking at his artwork and using his items. My daughter plays my husband's flute. She loves rocks and minerals which my husband had a collection. Both of my kids are so much like their father. We talk about that a lot. What traits and talents they share with my husband. I also have a stepdaughter we see once a month. Both she and I talk about memories that my children listen too. Your child's relationship continues with their dad. It's just in a different way. 

 

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