Before their father died, he sang a song to them which his father had sung to him. Now that he’s gone, I sing to them with sweetly altered lyrics.
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.
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.
In February 2016, the lives of Lindsey Atkins and Lizzie Lindberg went through epic changes that culminated to a profound juxtaposition on Saturday, February 20th. These circumstances compelled us to write our stories together.
At that time and even right now I wonder, was it worth it? Was it truly better to have passionately loved Eric and to have felt the tearing anguish of his absence than to never have loved him at all? Most of the time my answer to those questions is a resounding “YES.” Other times, when breathing becomes like rocket science and surviving is my only goal… I wonder if love is worth the pain of loss.
The loss of a beloved pet is one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. It is the loss of one who loved unconditionally and was there when it seemed like no one else was. It is the loss of a helper, a tender teacher, a faithful listener, a friend. It’s the changing of lovely memories into sad remembrances because of obvious absence. It’s the creation of sacred moments that once seemed inconsequential. Today, I remember my grief for Teddy less frequently than I once did, and the reality of his absence affects the tone of my day much more subtly than it did when the cut was fresh. Yet, the unique type of grief I experienced when my Teddy left this world is not something I expect to ever forget.