Christielee’s young daughter cannot understand why her father is gone.

As the Aussie mom of four, who blogs at Mum. That’s a Bad Word!, wrote on Facebook, it has been a year since Amarlie’s father committed suicide, “and it hasn’t gotten easier and it isn’t getting better.”

She lost her daddy to suicide a year ago now and it hasn’t gotten easier and it isn’t getting better.She doesn’t…

Posted by ChristieLee – Mum. That’s a bad word on Saturday, March 23, 2019

Christielee and Amarlie’s father had been separated for some time but were co-parenting their daughter and spoke every day. Amarlie’s dad was very much a part of her life. Now that he’s gone, his daughter is still having difficulty dealing with the grief. Christielee wrote:

She has been having a lot of moments lately, she has been crying over the smallest of things, slamming doors and yelling at me and her sisters telling us she hates us.

She doesn’t understand yet.

On the “good days,” Amarlie asks her mother to look at the photos of her father that are on Christielee’s phone.

“Some days it makes her happy and I watch as her eyes light up and a huge smile creeps across her face and I know that day will be a good day,” Christielee wrote.

But those are the good days:

Other days she snuggles into me and tells me she doesn’t remember her daddy and asks me to tell her stories to each one of the pictures, tears roll down her cheeks and she sobs and sobs hard. I know these days will not be so good.

She doesn’t understand yet.

Watching television and seeing characters die and return from the dead brings up more questions as Amarlie tries to understand why her father isn’t coming back.

Amarlie and her father

“She asks me why movie characters can die and then be ok again, can daddy be ok again?” Christielee wrote. “She doesn’t understand yet.”

For Christielee, there is the doubly difficult task of watching her daughter internalize emotions she can’t comprehend. But when she cries at the sight of her daughter’s pain, Amarlie feels like she’s to blame.

That leaves Christielee to tell her that her daughter makes her “the happiest mummy in the entire world.” But she can’t tell Amarlie the whole truth:

I can’t tell her that I am angry at the world, I am angry that this happened to her and I am angry that I am powerless to mend her tiny broken heart.

Too young to comprehend the source of her sorrow and confusion, Amarlie still asks her mother why she feels so sad.

“She doesn’t understand why she has these feelings and outbursts and often cries and asks why she is so sad in her heart,” Christielee wrote.

Recently, Amarlie has started waking up in the middle of the night:

She has been dreaming of her daddy lately, she wakes herself up by calling him out for him and all I can do is hold her as she cries herself back to sleep whispering that I will never leave her even though I know that I shouldn’t make that promise to her but her fear of me leaving her consumed her some days.

She doesn’t understand yet.

And she desperately wants to be with her father again:

She misses him and talks about when she dies she can be star with him. She cries and asks how long it will be before we all die so we can be a family of stars with her daddy because she longs for our family to be together again.

Amarlie tries to talk to family, friends, and strangers about her father and his death. She will say that “her daddy died and is a star now,” leaving her listeners “afraid to respond” and uncertain how to deal delicately with the young girl’s obvious pain.

Christielee and Amarlie

Unwilling to silence her daughter, Christielee often ends up answering for others. But then, the hard questions come to her:

She asks me why HER daddy had to die, why did he have to leave her but other daddy’s don’t leave her friends?

I tell her that daddy was so sick for so long but he fought as long as he could, he fought really hard but he could no longer fight.

There are more things for Christielee to explain. That Amarlie and her brothers “were all that mattered to him and he didn’t want to leave them but he had to.” That her daddy is still watching over her and in her heart every day. That her daddy still loves her and can hear her when she wishes him good night or tells him she loves him:

I cuddle her tightly and give her soft kisses on her forehead and tell her they are from her daddy because I know he wants her to have them.

Christielee knows her daughter cannot understand why her daddy committed suicide. But the truly heartbreaking part is that she also knows that none of them ever will. She concluded:

I tell that one day she will grow up and she will finally understand, but in my heart I know that’s a lie, she will never truly understand it.

I don’t understand yet.

Christielee wrote her post in the hopes of helping others understand the aftermath of suicide and to raise awareness that help exists.

“My advice to those who are feeling suicidal and dealing with suicide loss would be the same, reach out, talk to a friend or family members and seek professional help because you are not alone and you do not have to do life on your own,” she told Dearly. She continued:

“The aftermath of suicide is devastating for everyone who is left behind especially our babies and the stigma around mental health and seeking professional help is a huge contributing factor to this epidemic.”

If you or someone you know is at risk for suicide or experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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