Children & Grief

At times I forget, in the enormousness of my own grief, that I’m not the only one who lost someone.

There are differences in grief – the difference of what type of loss it is – but that doesn’t change the fact that other people have lost someone important in their life, as well.

I was at my sister-in-law’s house on the weekend, spent some time with her, and when the boys wandered away, she asked me how they were doing.

“Fine” was my response.   They seem to be adapting well.  They seem to be accepting.

I forgot that children grieve differently.

I read somewhere that children will wait until they are sure the surviving parent is capable of handling their grief.

This morning, I found my youngest son sitting on his bed, holding his dad’s ashes, tears running down his face.

Grief hit him.  He misses his Dad.  He’s a mini-Mark.  He’s got a lot of Mark’s qualities… good and bad.   And grief hit him.

What can I do for my child other than hold him and let him cry?

It was 7.45am, I was in my bathrobe, and not ready to go.   (Yes, I get it.  I need to be ready for work before I play on the computer… *sigh*)

I know that at one point in my life, I would have been so very focused on my own life that I would have ignored my son’s distress and showered so I could get to work on time.

Instead, I sat down on his bed… and snuggled him while he cried.

I can’t take away his pain – I would if I could – but I can let him ride the wave of grief in the safety of my arms.

Knowing that my kids are getting to the point of being able to share their grief with me… I know that I am moving to a better place, a healing place, a stronger place.

I am capable of handling their grief and sadness.

January 2010 039



One thought on “Children & Grief

  1. samonnier says:

    My heart goes out to you and your boys are going through Jane. They are so young to have lost such a great role model. I couldn’t help the tears well up in my eyes as I read through this… I can’t even imagine how I would cope with the loss of Anton, let alone trying to help my girls through the loss.

    You are so strong, just in being able to continue to be a wonderful mom to all your kids. Pulling that off while still coming to grips with your own grief makes you incredible.

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