This quote, printed on a wall hanging, had been a guiding force for my husband, Jerry and me as we raised our children. It hung on the wall adjacent to our three sons’ bedrooms. Now it hangs on my “family photo gallery wall” in my Florida home.
It’s message has taken on a new meaning for me as of late. When we let go of our children; that is whether for their first sleepover, their first time riding a two wheel bicycle without our hands tightly gripping the seat, their first trip to sleep away camp or to grandparents in another state, the first time borrowing our car, dropping them off at college or walking them down the wedding aisle, we experience grief. Grief is the response to any change in our life and with it comes all the emotional responses: sadness, fear, pride, love, anxiety and loneliness. Are you willing to face and embrace those feelings? Remember, grief is normal, universal and healthy.
Hopefully, you will have the courage to experience your grief rather than push it away. That is the same for all other changes in your life (not just for the death of a loved one).
By acknowledging and sharing the feelings associated with your grief, as a parent you will model for your children the meaning of the title of my book, SAD IS NOT BAD - IT’S HOW WE GRIEVE AFTER WE’VE LOVED.