Thursday, November 15, 2012

Children's Grief Awareness Day

Today is Children's Grief Awareness Day.

Its not just for kids who have lost a parent, but kids who have lost anyone close to them, grandparent, aunts, uncles, even siblings.

I wish I had known about this before now.  Its suggested that people wear blue to show support to these children.

I would have talked to Sugar Pea's school about doing something there.  Not so much to show support, but to explain to the kids what grieving is and that everyone does grieve differently.  Just because it works for one person doesn't mean it works for another.

There are 2 other girls at the school who lost their mom a couple years ago.  They have become a huge part of Sugar Pea's life.  They get what she's going through.  They get the fears she has.  They get the looks and the whispers from other people.  Not just other kids but from adults too.  I've over heard adults making comments about how happy Sugar Pea is.  Or on one of the bad days they make comments about her meltdowns and how she's acting this way because she didn't get her way.  Yet a year ago someone not throwing a ball to her wouldn't have ended in this kind of reaction.  Little things that shouldn't matter set off everything that's raging inside of her.  Warrior is the same way. 

I know from having lost my dad when I was 14 that grieving as a child is totally different than grieving as an adult.  Unless they've been through both, they don't get it.  That's ok.  I have learned that those that don't get it, either what I am going through or what the kids are going through are the lucky ones.  They haven't had to go through this emotional battle.  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

As much as some of their comments hurt and do make me angry, I have to step back and remind myself that they are a lucky one.  I've had talks with the kids about this too.  But explaining it to them is hard, because I don't want them to feel guilty for being happy and laughing.  For having fun with their friends.  Some people forget that these 2 amazing little people are grieving too because they see them laughing and playing.  They dont see what's going on on the inside.  I have had people tell me they forget the kids are grieving too because they see the kids laughing and playing at school or when they're with their friends.  I get why they feel this way, but even so it bothers me.

They aren't always vocal about their feelings.  Even with me.  Sometimes I have to drag it out of them.  I can tell they are hurting and they want to talk, but don't want to because they know its going to cause them more pain to say it out loud.  We do talk about the good things.  The memories.

Just last night we were talking about one night we were at a hotel in Vegas and Tin Man ran into the wall coming out of the bathroom.  Instead of taking 3 steps to get past the closet, he turned right away and ran into the wall.  This was just before he got really sick.  Almost 4 years ago, and we still laugh at the thought of that.  Even better was we found a tshirt that says Don't Follow Me, I Walk Into Walls on it.  The kids got him that for Christmas that year.

The memories are easy to talk about.  Its the hurt and anger that we are feeling now that the kids have problems talking about.  They would rather not talk at all if they could, but they are realizing that talking about it helps to stop the meltdowns.

So they give in and humor me and will talk to me when things to get bad.

I do hope that Children's Grief Awareness Day will become something more people talk about and hopefully it will bring more of an understanding to what these kids are going through.  Not just that, but how they deal with it too.

1 comment:

  1. A good friend of mine lost her husband right around the time you lost your husband, he left behind a 5 year old and three teenagers. We have The Douggie Center here, which provides therapy and an outlet for grieving children and their families.


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