I've gone over some of the basics of his response...his inital lack of understanding of the concept of death, the way he chose to process it, his overwhelming grief at Sybella's funeral.
Upon coming home from hospital after Sybella's birth, Jack was still wanting to rub my stomach and kiss "the baby" that he thought was still in there (needless to say, I still had a touch of Mummy Tummy). He was able to tell us that Sybella had gone to help Jesus, she had gone to Heaven in a rocket, and she couldnt come home. He seemed accepting, but I put this down to Jack thinking that death was transient, not permanent. It wasnt until the funeral, where he had his little silent meltdown that I think it hit him that Sybella had died and what that meant. I am sure that he thought we were supposed to take the baby with us, and the reason I think this is because of his subsequent behaviour at preschool. When it was time for him to return to preschool, he panicked and cried when I dropped him off. This was new behaviour. He never cried during the drop off, he loved preschool. I think that his concept of permanence was cemented by his sister's death. His teacher, Jon, wondered if Jack was scared that I was going to leave him at preschool, the way I'd "left" Sybella in the chapel. He thought Jack was scared that I wouldnt pick him up again. That seemed like a good explanation, except it has been about ten weeks now, and he is still crying when I drop him off. So I figure that Sybella's death has affected him more than he lets on.
Jack was breastfed until he was 26 months old, and as a result, he has an...affection for boobs. He likes to put his hand down my shirt for comfort sometimes. Of course, this is not appropriate and I often tell him that boobies are only for feeding babies and giving them milk, not for big boys. I told him this while I was pregnant with Sybella, whenever he tried to cop a feel. He obviously took notice, because last week, I found him lying on my bed, shirt pulled up, boy nipples exposed. I asked him what he was doing. "I am showing Sybella my boobies, because then maybe she will come back down." It was such a powerful moment, and I laughed and cried at the same time.
I am very lucky to have Jack as my son. He has been my blessing and my guiding light in the depths of grief. He, alone, kept me going. He isnt perfect, but who wants a child that is perfect anyway?! I like them with a bit of spunk. Makes life interesting. He is light and breezy and happy-go-lucky. And as far as I'm concerned, he is Brother of the Year.