Can we please stop acting like adults?
When it comes to interacting with someone who is experiencing a great loss we pretty much as a whole suck at it.
We overthink it. We tiptoe around. We ignore them. We pretend we do not seem them at the supermarket. God forbid we try talking to them because we might say the wrong thing and that could be really bad for both of us.
We have all read the same articles giving advice on how to deal with someone suffering a loss. Talk about their loved one! Say their name! They haven’t forgotten and they want to know you haven’t either!
Yes, this is true.
Do you want to know what holds even more truth? Children. What I have learned about how people approach me and deal with me after I lost my son is this; the real experts we should be taking notes from are the kids.
I have a wonderful group of friends. They are my tribe. They have done more for my family than I will ever be able to comprehend. They have kept us put together when we cannot do it ourselves (and this is not an easy job).
They all have children, most elementary age. While I will give my tribe endless credit for everything they have done and continue to do through our loss and grief, it is what their kids have done for this momma’s broken heart that is magical.
They are not afraid of me (AKA the scary grieving lady). They say anything that pops into their beautiful little heads. Without filtering first.
They constantly ask me to tell stories about my son. They ask me what he liked and what he did.
“Did he like that blanket?”
“Did he cry when you made him go in the car?”
“Did he like his big sister or big brother better?”
We talk about what he would like if he were still here, “do you think if Knox was alive he would like ice cream?”. Yes. Oh, yes, he would definitely like ice cream.
One day we discussed how actors make themselves cry. The conclusion was probably by thinking of sad things. After a little deeper thought they tell me, "you would be a really good actor. You would just think about the day Knox died and could cry really easily." They are right, I could probably win an Oscar.
They draw me pictures of him just because they were thinking of him.
We talk about Heaven and what it is like for him. They tell me, "My grandpa is in Heaven too and he has a big mansion there so Knox probably goes to visit him a lot....or maybe he lives in the mansion too because it’s so big!".
I could go on forever sharing stories like this.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these conversation with these sweet little souls more than any adult interaction I’ve ever had discussing my little boy.
These kids have no idea how much they keep my baby alive. They do not know that my heart explodes with love after each little chat we have about him. They do not have a clue that their love for him has truly been the best part of my day.
We need to stop acting like adults when we deal with people who are grieving. Let's take a page from the children's playbook on this one. Talk about the loss unfiltered and talk about it without fear.
P.S. If your little one says something along these lines to someone suffering please do not get embarrassed and want to crawl into a hole. Do NOT stop them. Do NOT correct or sensor them. Do NOT under any circumstances teach them that this is the wrong way to talk to someone who is grieving.
They are the ones who have it all figured out ❤️❤️