Let’s talk about something unpleasant for a moment. Grief. We will at one time or another face grief as we lose a loved one. How we deal with that grief as mothers is something that never crossed my mind until recently.
There is a person whose impact on my life has been profound. I grew up doubting that anyone but family could shape the person we become. I thought that by my twenties, I was the woman I would be forever. Little did I know that I would meet someone who would challenge me to continue to grow and yet accept who I was.
Here’s the problem: I never said thank you.
Recently I received a text telling me that this person was ill and fading quickly. It was bedtime at my house so I couldn’t reply like I wanted to. A lump started to build in my throat and I felt sick. I went ahead with brushing the little peoples teeth, reading sweet stories and tucking soft blankets around tiny little bodies.
How could I stop to think of what this meant for me while parenting? I’ve told myself so many times that with motherhood there are some things that must be put aside. My heartache was one. What a selfish thing to withdraw and take care of my heart? My family needed me and so that queasiness would remain.
Days later, I’d had enough. My children were at school when I sat and cried. Through my tears I said what I had never told this person. I said what I would never have the chance to say.
A new perspective
I see my recent experience as an opportunity to encourage my children to be appreciative of the people in their lives. I thought I’d been doing just that, but this experience was a reminder. We urge our little ones to say thank you for things and kind acts, but what about the people behind supporting them? What about the people that will change their paths? At this point my husband and I have the biggest influence on our children, but one day they will meet new and special people. People like my friend who I was on the verge of losing and whom I’d never thanked. As you encounter extraordinary people, don’t hesitate to tell them what they mean to you. Don’t take their presence for granted.
When you encounter loss, take time to care for your heart and take the time to heal. Remember the saying ‘we can’t pour from an empty cup’.
I wrote earlier this year about the physical body and how we need to hear it’s cries for attention. The heart is just as important. Fighting back tears and ignoring sadness will start to eat away at you, and we know that as moms we need to be ever present.
Show your children by example that being in touch with their feelings doesn’t make them weak and to face life with a kind heart.
What are some ways you deal with grief? Share with us in the comments below!