In the game of adulting, a herd accompanies you past the milestones. When you're young, everyone you know is graduating university, landing a first job, getting married, having kids. As you approach middle age, the milestones become less celebratory. Everyone you know is loosening their belt, losing their hair. And then comes the most disorienting loss of all: Their parents.
Tagged With grief
Let's face it. We're not always awesome at helping friends who are grieving, but when it comes to supporting children who've lost a close loved one, we often clench up and fumble even more. They're little, and can seem so fragile, and it's hard to know just how much they comprehend (spoiler: It's a lot more than we realise). And so parents are finding that many adults avoid offering kids an "I'm sorry" or acknowledging their painful loss in any way. In The Washington Post, Jennifer Bannan wrote about what happened when her six-year-old son Cypress lost his father to cancer.
I recently had to go through the heartbreaking process of saying goodbye to a pet. My cat, Rudy, was old and in pain. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but it was time to let her go. Although it was a sad experience, I was grateful she was able to stay at home for the process and that I was able to stay by her side.
It was a Saturday, my plane landed, and I was all set to relax during a short weekend getaway, when an email came through on my phone. I'd lost my job. I showed it to my boyfriend in the seat next to me. "These things happen," I said, smiling and putting my phone away. "It's probably for the best. Let's enjoy our trip." I praised myself for being strong and accepting the situation. In reality, I was in complete denial that I just lost a job I loved.