Did you know that we all have a grief story to tell?
Everyone’s story has a uniqueness to it.
Some tell the story of pain.
Some tell the story of love and loss.
While others tell the story of a past that never got to be. The story of a lost childhood.
Some of the pain happens in the future.
While so many of us feel our pain never ending like a quiet hum that never goes away.
To some the thought of telling these stories in their entirety can seem so overwhelming.
What I am getting to here is that we all have a grief story.
To some, the grief story feels like it is new and has just happened. The reality is it may have happed long ago in our childhood.
Today we are addressing the child that grows up in the pain of grief. Maybe it was a household where the parents only stayed together for the children.
Maybe yours was just an unhappy home. That is not the grief we are addressing here.
We have met clients where one or both of their parents died at a young age. We recently worked with a beautiful young woman that lived with her grieving mother for 22-years. As her mother relieved the loss of her own mother daily.
Because children have a hard time processing the finality of death many of us adults don’t feel it necessary to have the conversation with them.
If you are anything like me, you may not want your child to feel the pain. You will want to protect them.
Every holiday, birthday and anniversary were extremely painful. It was if she expected to relieve the death of her grandmother year after year.
This expectation also began to bleed into other parts of their life. “We cannot do that it’s disrespectful.” “We should not have fun today we need to be thinking of Grandma.”
We call this preputial grief. Here this mother in her own pain has kept her daughter in a constant state of grief. She would spend hours telling us how awful her life was. How she feels she never got to live a normal childhood.
We are here to tell you that you can not protect them from the pain of a broken heart. Negative emotions are a part of our grieving experience here on earth. Even our children will have them
We have to be honest with our children we have to tell our children our truth. As we encourage them to speak theirs. So that we can teach them how to deal with grief.
It should not be a foreign concept for them to talk about their negative feelings. It should be ok for the child to say I am sad and even to cry when their puppy dies, without us parents running out and buy them a new puppy in an attempt to have them avoid their pain.
Mom or dad should say I know that you are sad. I am sad too. Do you want a hug?
Imagine if we all live in a world where we were taught how to grieve properly.
Do listen to our most recent podcast Raised in Grief: http://traffic.libsyn.com/healingstartswiththeheart/011520-TTG-220f.mp3