Tag: 4 year old grief

growing up with grief..

Grief has a place in our family.. at our table. Its kinda like a sibling to them.. One that grows and changes right along with them. Parenting a child through grief is something I never really imagined myself having to do. And most of the time I don’t feel well equipped to do it. Its much harder than I thought it would be. I am so grateful I am not alone in doing it though.. I feel so deeply for parents that lose their spouse and have to face this alone. .. Right now its Nicholas. His struggles are deep and loud and real. The disappointment he felt flipping through the most recent yearbook and realizing his sister wouldn’t be in it.. The look of settled in disappointment in his eyes. It was unnerving and unnatural to see that in a boy of his age. I ached for him. I[…]

old life back

*I wrote this last week and didn’t realize I hadn’t published it* There is a undercurrent in our family right now. I am not sure what is causing it. I didn’t even realize it until I sat down to write my most recent blog.. The only thing I know for sure is its all different manifestations of a yearning for Jennifer.. Tony has been short with me lately. Impatient and grumpy with me. I wasn’t sure what I had done. We talked in the car ride to the airport. About a lot of things.. his things and then about how he worries that I am not going to the gym anymore, just working out at home. He has noticed I am sheltering in the house again. .. retreating inward emotionally and physically. He’s right. My only social life now is Unravel related. Up before the kids to work out alone.[…]

..because life keeps happening..

It’s coming. I can feel. Even if I didn’t know it. Even if I didn’t remember it I can feel it. physical .. unrelenting.. grief.. A heaviness in my chest. A strain on my back. Ears always ringing.. just a bit. Heart beating faster and harder. Eyes stinging.. always on the verge of emptying. Another year. .. because life keeps happening. Why couldn’t I save her? Why couldn’t I relieve her pain? Stop her suffering? did i at all baby? was it ever not excruciating? This year is so different though. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. What made sense for all of us and I was able to make it happen. There was freedom in that. Freedom. Strength. Comfort in having a plan that felt right But not this year. This year its all up in the air. And nothing not a damned thing feels right. ..because[…]

4 year old questions

Last night at dinner Nicholas just started asking questions. I was giving both little girls a bath at the sink while my boys all finished dinner. It started off casual and easy and Tony asked if they had more questions.. And Nicholas did. So many. So so many. He directed them all to me. .. It was Tonys first time hearing the things he asks.. Seeing his fear and tasting his 4 year olds sorrow.. .. but we’ve done the before. The way he fights the tears that burns his eyes. They way he struggles to understand. Its just like Jonathan after Jennifer died. This deep want and desire to understand the unimaginable. kids die. we don’t have the answers and i can’t protect you. But Nicholas needs things to be right and fair and in order. As he fought the stinging in his eyes that he doesn’t understand His[…]

ground to outer space

I forgot. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten… Cookie and cocoa and lights. A tradition that matters. We started it Jennifer’s first Christmas. It was always a celebration of getting to be parents. A night I always remembered and appreciated how hard fought for these children of ours were.  As each year we went from 1 to 2 to 3 … 4… with our 4th child then we knew we be losing our first one.. But I loved it. One of the only things that I actually have looked forward to these 2 seasons without her.. Because I remembered so much so fondly. The way she would get so excited.. Even showing her siblings that were just sleeping babies the lights. Squealing out to everybody whose window to look out of. I needed that. That remembering of the happy noises. My boys fight. A lot. And they fight hard. It[…]

final word

Grief is a strange thing…a fluid thing. The way it manifests itself in adults and kids. It really keeps you on your toes. Often times Tony and I don’t even know we are struggling with big grief until we start tackling it. We will just turn to the other one and say the words.. The ones that will unleash a landslide of understanding for the fights or explosions or misunderstandings of the last few weeks. With kids its a sudden twist. I want them to know they can talk to me or other safe adults. I want them to also know its ok to not be grieving their sister. Its ok to just be. . It is a small tightrope to be walking along. That balance between openness and demonstrating healthy big emotions while still allowing them to just be kids. They surprise us though. They often do it very[…]

back home

Children are resilient. But they are also vulnerable and trusting. They believe. They hope. They try to make things right. Jennifer always did. She fought. She hoped. She trusted. Children are supposed to be innocent. I stole my 4 year olds innocence. .. Another piece of it at least.. I had to rip more of it away from him. I get told not to put my grief on them. To not misplace my feelings as theirs. They are so young they won’t remember. They barely knew her .. or never knew her.  That my kids are innocent. But they aren’t. Cancer. Her death. Lack of funding. It stole their innocence. Charlotte was only 9 months .. and Bridgette wasn’t even born yet. .. The boys decided to donate their birthdays to Unravel. Instead of presents from friends they asked for donations they could make to save other kids. One thing[…]