Dear Darcy

It’s been a really messed up few days.  It’s Murphy’s Law all over the place and it has put me in a horrible mood, which is terrible when Christmas is 2 days away.  This is my attempt to counteract all of the BS and remember the good.

Dear Darcy,

I know this is a blog for Benny, but I feel that this post should be all about you.  It should be all about the surviving siblings that carry their parents along in the wake of their grief.

This will be our third Christmas without your little brother.  I don’t know how that is possible, how that much time has passed, but it has.  Things have changed so much for our family over the past two years as we head into this third Christmas without Benny.  This year we are so lucky to add Fletcher to our family as he celebrates his first Christmas.

That first Christmas without Benny was rough.  It was just over a month after the accident and we were all trying to figure out what to do.  Do we hang his stocking, his ornaments?  How do we do so without completely losing it?  Do we keep old traditions or start new ones?  We only had Bennett with us for one Christmas, how do we immortalize that?  So many questions, no wrong answers.

The only thing that I knew was that it needed to still be magical for you.  You were only just 5 and still trying to wrap your head around what death really was and what had really happened.  I was terrified that we were going to be lost in our grief and forget about the little girl that so badly needed something to keep her going.

So, we set about doing our best.  We saw Santa and you smiled and had your picture taken without your little brother.  But you SMILED, you were happy.  We went to a family gathering where no one even brought Benny up, even though it had been less than 2 months.  I wanted to scream at them that they were making it worse.  I remember seeing you laughing and excited and thinking to myself, it’s ok, Darcy is ok.  It diffused the situation.  I actually enjoyed shopping for you (maybe a little too much) and wrapping up presents that I knew would make you smile.

You put out cookies and milk and we read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ without your brother.  We watched you run down the stairs alone Christmas morning all excited and tear through your presents.  It made it hurt a little less to see you so happy, to play with you.

We wrote letters to Benny and put them in his stocking.  We cried as a family not knowing at all how to really do any of this without Benny.  But we did it.  And you made it magical.  You made it better.  You made it fun again.

A lot of things died with Benny on November 8th, but not your spirit.  You are one of the most amazing little girls I know and you saved us that first Christmas.  Your dad and I decided early on that your life wasn’t going to be about Bennett’s death.  You taught us so much about healing and love, but mostly about the resiliency of children.  You made us smile and laugh again.  You made me feel again at a time when I really didn’t want to.  I owe you so much for that little girl!  Thank you for being who you are and loving the way you do.



Author: sheriroaf

Sheri Roaf is the mother of four wonderful children who turned to blogging after her 17 month old son Bennett passed away unexpectedly. Through her writing she has found a way to help herself and her family move forward in the face of tragedy.

3 thoughts on “Dear Darcy”

  1. Oh, my! Your words to your daughter so resonated with me. This is our third Christmas without our Ben. I decided this year to put extra effort into it being less about Ben’s death and our sadness and more about making Ben’s brother and sister feel how important it is to believe their mom is resilient (right word?). They are young adults but I know how important it is for me to light the way. This is the first year i did more than just a tree. My daughter came to visit and gave me a big hug and a big thank you when she saw I had decorated. I guess it was more important to her than I thought. Thanks for giving me words to ponder during the holidays as I struggle to enjoy them without our Ben. Peace to you during these days.


  2. So many tears. Having to run down the stairs alone to see Santa must have been two incredibly conflicting emotions but for that moment, she allowed happiness in. How tough!!! What a brave little baby. This is such a beautiful thing to do for her. She’ll read this one day and know how much you guys needed her as much, if not more at times, than she needed you. You had told me about the letters to Benny in his stocking that first year and when I hung Aiden’s I sobbed. I will never hang my kid’s stockings again and not think about Benny and those letters. It is incredible to me that your own family didn’t mention him, especially so soon. As if not talking about it erased it. I didn’t even know you and he was all I could think about, and your loss. Do they talk about him now? I really hope so. Your family deserves peace this year. Wishing you the very best and hope that Fletch’s first Christmas brings joy amongst the palpable loss.


  3. I actually remember my mom telling me while we were on the phone one day how cute Darcy was.. you guys had just gotten the tree or something that day, and then were heading out through her driveway to your car. I still remember my mom saying how amazing Darcy was, that she was skipping ahead of the two of you, humming some cute little song. She really did carry you along in those days, it seems. It’s so true that we learn a lot from our children if we allow it 🙂


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