It is hard enough to deal with grief and loss as an adult ... but when children have to cope with grief and loss, it is another story all together.
This has been a bad week in my world. A friend/acquaintance of mine died tragically on Saturday, and I've kind of been reeling from that all week. But what happened yesterday took my grief to a whole new level.
(Photo courtesy of Kathleen Souder.)
At 4:pm yesterday (Thursday) I received an e-mail from my oldest child’s school principal saying that a student who attends the school had died on Wednesday, and that the students had been in grief counseling all day. So when I got home, and had the initial discussion with my children, not only did this student pass away on Wednesday, the student took their own life. My oldest was very upset. He knew the child, and had spent most of the day at school crying. My youngest was not nearly as upset, but she did not know the child, and so I think that had something to do with her initial reaction.
By bedtime, my oldest was better. He was still upset, but after talking with my husband, and myself, and with all of the counseling they received at school, he seemed to be dealing with it quite well ... considering that he is only 13, and all that he had been through yesterday.
But by bedtime, my youngest was worse. When I tried to put her to bed she was crying inconsolably. I just could not say anything to her that would reassure her that everything is going to be okay. Finally I brought her into my room and just held her.
What can I possibly say to my children, that could somehow make sense out of what has just happened, when I myself don’t even understand it. They are scared, and sad, and confused and I have no earthly idea what to say to them other than ... I love you ... God loves you ... everything is going to be okay.
There aren't very many times in which I am at a loss for words, but this is one of them for sure. I think yesterday was one of the most difficult days I've had as a parent.
This to shall pass, but I just can’t shake this feeling today.
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