Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another Day, A New Loss...


We all have to experience it sometime.  My kids have experienced more than their share of loss in their short lives.  Some losses are temporary.  And each time someone goes away and comes back brings healing, siblings going to college and coming back, Dad going to Nicaragua for a few weeks, Mom going to a homeschool conference over night.  Other losses are permanent, the loss of a pet, the loss of a birth parent.  Some of the losses are almost too much for a little one to handle.  And even temporary losses bring fear and extreme behaviors because it isn't the current loss that is brought up, but all the losses over their whole lives.  My children don't just react to Dad going to Nicaragua for a few weeks like the average child their age.  They react as if they'll never see him again.  They become fearful.  They try to cope, but don't have the inner strength.  They need help.

Today some good friends are moving cross country to a new home.  This would be a difficult thing for anyone to deal with, but the loss is compounded for my two youngest ones who have experienced so much loss in their lives already.  This morning, the father of the family came to pick up their dog, which Ms. D was watching for a couple of nights for them while they finished packing and stayed at a nearby hotel.  Ms. D had spent much of the summer at their house, helping with the baby while the mom packed.  So Ms. D is having a pretty rough time today.  No, she isn't having meltdowns like her brother would.  She withdraws.  Which is harder in some ways. She tends to avoid her emotions and close in like a snail.  Which makes it more difficult for me to help her process her grief.  But I will try.  I have to.  I have to find ways to help her to grieve.  I have to find ways to help her to reach out to family for comfort.  I have to find ways to help her let God enfold her and bring her through.  The old ways of coping with loss just don't work any more.  Not that they worked very well when she was four and came to our house.  She used to pull out her hair and scratch herself on her neck and face until she bled.  I don't want her to hurt herself on the outside or inside in her grief.  No mother does.  But experiencing loss and healing from loss is a part of life.  And I'm glad she is my daughter and I can help her learn.

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