Grieving with children is a complicated thing. I want to be genuine with my young boys about sadness and the freedom to feel and express emotion, but I also want to keep unnecessary burdens off of their shoulders. I want to help them grieve in their own ways and in their own timing, but I also want them to be able to be just happy sometimes. My strategy for how to grieve with children is as young as those children and it grows and develops with them.
There are many ways to refer to mourning. There are the waves of grief, the stages, the levels and the layers. It's a cycle. It's a process. It creates a pot of tear soup. Analogies may fail, and everyone is different, but this is how it has felt to me... Sometimes grief feels like two … Continue reading Sometimes Grief
I used to call them "grief contractions," the whole-body tightening that would happen when I saw a picture of Eric, or heard a song we had loved together, or remembered a memory we had shared. At first, the pain was acute and deep. I lost my train of thought as well as my breath. It … Continue reading Waves Of Grief
The Ripple Effects of Love and Loss Have you ever dropped a rock into a body of water? The rock sinks, but the impact on the surface of the water is this ripple effect... one layer creates another, and they flow one after the other in a perfect circle around the entry point of that … Continue reading Secondary Losses: Hopes & Dreams
Sometimes tragedy shakes the structure of life so completely that nothing looks the same when the dust settles. When my life-altering, pivot-point tragedy occurred, I never could have imagined all of the ways that I would change as a result of it. Though the very deepest parts of my identity did not change; my value, my worth, and the meaning of my existence... I am certainly not the same person I once was.
When someone close to you dies, a hole is left where a relationship used to be. Because of his or her death, there are things that will not get done unless they are reassigned to someone else. Your relationship with your loved one is gone, but so also might be the friends you used to spend time with because things have changed - in you, in them, in general - since your life-altering personal tragedy. Life looks different now because when your loved one left, so did the roles and relationships you once knew.