Accepting the loss of a loved one…

Today is a hard one for me…
4 years ago today my papa passed away.
He was and will forever be the strongest man I know.
He always called me his Krystal Chandelier.

Having a loved one pass is like being a part of a group that you don’t want to join.
Accepting the passing of someone is possible, but it will change you forever.
You can be strong, and look like you are holding everything together but that one thing will remind you of them and its like that feeling just comes flooding back at you all over again.

Accepting that they have passed doesn’t mean that you don’t care, or that their life wasn’t meaningful to you. Just means that you are preparing your heart to live your life to the fullest just like they would want you too. We know it is an unenviable part of life. Talking about death isn’t ever easy because the subject is painful.

On kid’s it can be really hard for them to accept it, or even understand that is happening, but they know and they see. As a parent it is even harder to tell your children what is going on, because you yourself are trying to accept it and understand it.

We think it’s best to hold off and not tell them right away but I feel like it is best to tell them the truth right away. The truth will get them to understand why you are crying and hurting, instead of them trying to figure it out themselves “why is mommy so sad was it me?” Being open about why you are so upset, will help your child mourn with you and understand how to.

Always be prepared to answer questions that might hurt you to answer. Children are still learning how to respond to emotion, how to deal with it, how to accept it, understand it. Sometimes their emotions are different then ours. Sometimes they will try and change the subject because they just don’t understand the emotion they are suppose to respond with. Don’t get mad at them for not talking about it, they are trying.

Don’t throw it at them all at once. Children take information in just a little at a time and coming at them with everything at once will just overwhelm their little minds and hearts. You’ll know how much to tell them by the questions they are asking.

Don’t worry about not knowing all the answers to everything they ask, it is okay to just say “Mommy, doesn’t know the answer to that one” Trying to come up with answers to some hard questions, while you are having trouble keeping it together yourself will be hard. It’s okay to not know all the answers.

Don’t be scared to cry, cry with them. Show them you are crying. It will help them understand that this is a very upsetting time. Let it out, crying is healthy and helps you release the pain.

Let your children grieve in their own way, let them talk about it when they want to, and listen. If they want to be silent about it let them. It is normal for a child to seem unaffected by it. Grieving is different for everyone.

Let them be apart of it the best you can, let them pick out pictures, and talk about fun memories of them. If they are going to the funeral, or celebration of life prepare them for what they will see, lots of upset people, pictures, memories. Even the casket. Explain to them about everything that they will see and hear. Try to get them to understand before they see it.

Most importantly take care of yourself. As parents we tend to keep things bottled up so that our children don’t feel the pain or sadness that we have. Children learn by example, if we show them how to take care of ourselves when all we want to do it crawl into a hole and cry, then they will understand just a little better how to take care of themselves during a critical time.