Friday, March 20, 2009

Processing Grief and Children

When Amy Welborn shared that people continue to ask her, "How are the kids doing?" since her husband Michael died, I felt a funny sort of camaraderie. Although we have only exchanged the briefest of online dialogue, I was no longer a bystander, but a participant in this intimate conversation.

Hannah and Mr. T lost their first mother to illness about 3 years ago. When they came home, she was 8 years old and had limited English, but it didn't take a translator to know when something had touched a nerve that was still very raw and painful for her.

We allowed her to talk as she wished, to cry and gave her lots of hugs and kisses. We reassured her that her mother waited for her in heaven and that we would all be together again someday there. And there would be great rejoicing and much happiness. More than might be thinkable to a newly orphaned eight year old or the mother trying to navigate parenthood through this murky sea.

Is that not the most amazing gift of our faith?!?

Anyway, just the other night, she shared with me stories about the actual night her mom died that I had never heard before, and how it affected her. Having parented Hannah and Mr. T for a few years now, it is easy to forget this primal wound my daughter (and when he is old enough to understand, my son) carry. But it is important not to let that happen.

For all of us.

Even now, three years later, there are still stories to be told, tears to be cried and a very special birth mother to be remembered in heaven.


Therese said...

So well written. I have lost both of my parents in the past 4 1/2 years, and my oldest still has difficulty with their deaths (he was very close to them)...Not the same as losing a parent for my son, but still hard.Thanks for sharing

Becky said...

So beautiful. You are all blessed to have each other. {{Hugs}} to all of you.

Jen said...

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. God is so good to have brought them to you and made you their mother. Much love to you!