This year has been an irreversible one. It has been a very tough time for my family. We all went through the same experience but have all dealt with it in different ways.
We lost our daughter. My boys lost their sister. And our parents lost their grandchild. It is very difficult to take care of your other children when you are grieving. But I have to–they need their mother.
Every day, I force myself to get out of bed. I do it for my sons and because I know that they are grieving and need emotional support from me.
They are both teenage boys and were both raised in the same house with the same parents. We have always let them express themselves and never expected them to be the same or do the same things.
Their sister always loved their differences. When she passed away, for some reason I thought all grief should look the same. I thought everyone should be sad and not want to do anything but be close to one another in the safety of our home.
I had a lot of learning to do. Adult grief looks very different than child grief. Everyone grieves differently and that is okay.
My oldest son chose not to go to group counseling. For him, playing sports is his therapy. It is his passion. What he needed was to be at the rink more, skating and shooting pucks. He wrote his sister’s name and age on his equipment and played games in her honor. This made him feel better and closer to her.
My youngest boy needed to be close to home. He needed to talk about what his sister might be doing or where she might be. He cried. Both boys did, but he was much more open about it. He visits her memorial shelf a lot and loves to wear his memorial necklace. He even wants to play with her toys. This makes him feel better and closer to his sister. I learned to sit back and let each one of them take the lead on how they needed to cope and was also close by for when they needed their mommy, too.
It's hard to watch my boys grieve but grief is hard, no matter the circumstances.
The loss of a child is devastating to families and those close to them. Everyone suffers the loss. The When Your Child Passes Away page offers information and guidance for this difficult time.