Harri has been the one who has been taking Noah's death the hardest out of the three boys. It's not at all what we imagined because Jalen was the one who grew up knowing that Noah wasn't going to be around for very long and often he would get quite stressed about it, and would talk to us about it. Harri also knew that Noah's life on earth wasn't going to be very long, but he never really questioned it or talked about it with us.
The day that we told the boys that Noah was so sick he wasn't able to live any longer, Harri's reaction totally shocked us. He just buried his head in the bed at Ronald McDonald House and sobbed and sobbed and nothing we could say would help him. Jalen was also extremely upset, but he talked to us about it and as the day went on he said he felt like Noah was ready and that he would want him to be strong about it.
Harri was just so upset all day, and when we told him he had to say goodbye he just kept shaking his head and saying 'no' and just kept sobbing. It was heart breaking to watch and I just wished that I could take the pain away from him, but deep down that is exactly what I wanted to do as well, but was trying to be strong for everyone else and especially for Noah because I wanted him to know that we would be okay, no matter how hard it was to say goodbye.
Makayla had sent down a beautiful monkey soft toy for him. A couple of hours before Noah passed away Harri asked what we were going to do with the monkey. I asked him if he thought Noah would like him to keep it and look after it, and he straight away said that he would. He also tried to claim his other two soft toys that kept him company in hospital, but we told them that we would like to keep them in our bedroom with us. When we got back to Ronald McDonald House, Harri was very excited to show us that he had put the toys on our bed, ready for us.
He was very happy to snuggle into bed with Noah's monkey that night. We asked him if he was going to give him a name and he said 'Nono' because that is what Jay called Noah when he was little when he couldn't say his name properly.
The first night back at home after Noah passed away Harri was very upset at bedtime. He said he didn't want to sleep by himself in his own room, and to be honest I didn't really want to sleep in an extra quiet bedroom without Noah, so we let him sleep on a mattress on the floor in our room.
Noah's funeral Harri only went to school two days. I remember how sad I was when my brother Daniel passed away when I was around Harri's age, so I've been trying to just help him feel as safe and happy as possible. When he asked a couple of weekends ago if he could sleep in Jay's room with him, we set up the mattress in there for him again (although Jay wasn't too impressed!).
Every single day he takes his monkey 'Nono' to school with him and even out in the playground. His teachers have been great in letting him do whatever makes him feel safe and happy which has been great. After a few weeks off swimming lessons we went back (with lots of tears in the car on the way there) and Nono had to watch him swim the whole time. Harri was just getting really confident with his swimming, but since Noah has passed away he is now too scared to try anything that is a bit challenging and is now in tears a lot of the lesson which is really hard. His teacher is a young guy who is really lovely, but after the second week of Harri in tears he was trying to encourage him to do what he was asking and said 'come on, you usually do this' and that's when I had to step him to tell him that his brother had passed away three weeks earlier. I felt awful for the poor teacher, but he was so lovely and just kept saying 'oh that's terrible' and then totally understood why Harri didn't want to do it and then took it easier on him.
Harri is getting better at sleeping in his own room, but once a week or so he gets so upset that I let him either sleep in Jay's or our bedroom. Last week he said he was 'feeling sick' and it was after he had a talk with the assistant principal and I about how it's important that kids go to school unless they are sick. 'All of a sudden' that night he started to feel sick, and I think he genuinely was feeling sick, but mostly because he so anxious and upset. We told him that it wasn't really fun to be at home anyway as we were sorting out Noah's things, and it would've been nice for him to be at school with his friends, especially while that was happening.
Aaron and I thought it would be nice to spend some special one on one time with him, so we took him out for a date with Mum and Dad which he was so excited about. A couple of months ago at the gym I won a $100 gift voucher for Snappers Restaurant, so we decided to take Harri there.
It was quite posh with expensive food, but it was nice to know we didn't have to worry about the bill :) Harri was so happy to be out on his own with us. The whole time we were there he just chatted to us telling us all the funny things going on at school.
Harri and I both ordered battered flathead, old style chips and salad. The funny thing was that he got his from the children's menu for $10 and I got mine from the main menu. I probably had a few extra chips and a tiny bit more fist for $26! It was very yummy though.
He is getting there slowly, but every time we mention Noah's name (even if it is when we are saying family prayer before bed) he starts crying again and says it makes him sad to talk about him. If he sees photos on the computer or especially on my blog of Noah's last week in hospital he gets very upset. At bed time we still have tears every night, but he doesn't ask to sleep in other rooms as much and is happier to go to school, as long as I am dropping him off and picking him up every day. It doesn't look like he will catch the bus or get a lift to school with Di for the rest of the year.
I'm sure it's going to take a long time before he really doesn't feel scared and sad anymore.