At some point in your life, you come to understand that there will be things that you learn are necessary but hurtful
Watching your children hurt, and knowing you have to let them, is one of those things.
As a parent, this is hard. We want to protect them at all costs. Not just from physical threats, but from the world at large. We want them to grow up and learn to be good people who help others and who can move through life on their own and make a difference in the world around them.
But no one tells us that part of their learning process will include grief. Sure, we know loss will happen, but we protect them from that as long as we can. We can give them the tools on how to be –how to think of others and how to do the right thing when no one is looking. And we can try and project how to abehave in all kinds of situations. They watch us, you know, and learn how to react to the world by observing how we do.
But grief, it turns out, is something that they must work through on their own.
I have never held back emotions from my boys. Happy, sad, angry – they’ve seen meat my best and worst. Of course I try to stay in check, but I have tried to teach them that emotion is ok. And there is no shame in being sad. And there is absolutely everything ok with letting others know you love them. Love is the best emotion and sharing it is the best feeling in the world.
The hardest thing that I have experienced as a parent is watching my boys hurt so deeply that they weep with the pain of it – and knowing they have to feel that pain before it can get better. They have to come to terms with it on their own and in their own way. I can be there for hugs and words and just presence. But the processing of grief is intensely personal.
We can’t tell someone how they should feel. I quoted part of a poem that was given to me quite a few times today. The first time, it was just words.but it developed more and more meaning over the day.
“Just stop thinking….and let it happen.”
It – was not just the letting go. But the letting in. Letting in all the emotions and feeling them with all your heart. And letting in the pain and sadness so it could be released. And letting others work through their own emotions on their own and in their own way. And letting in the knowledge that it is ok to feel relieved that it is over, because you know it was the right thing to do.
The hardest thing – is to stop thinking…and let it happen.
But when you can – it does. And it brings peace.