I'm really proud of my kids. They are learning to grieve without acting out in destructive ways. I was really worried how Ms. D and Mr. I would handle having to give back our guide dog puppy so he could get his training at Guide Dogs for the Blind. I half expected Ms. D to run off with Brewster the night before we dropped him off, since he might not ever come back to our home and they had such a strong bond with each other. But she didn't. I expected some really extreme acting out afterwards. But she seems to be grieving in ways that are less destructive to herself and toward others.
Grief is so hard. A lot of adults have trouble with disappointments. They drink themselves to a stupor, overdose on drugs, drive too fast, or run off and have an affair. They do things that don't help the process of grief, but destroy their lives and cause new problems. And these are adults! But my daughter is a teen, a teen with all sorts of disorders that make it difficult to process grief. And she's handling her grief in a responsible way this week.
We've really worked hard on dealing with disappointments this summer. We have talked about how to grieve without hurting ourselves and others. We gave each other ideas to help deal with sadness. We have gone to therapy and gained some new tools to help get through the hard times in life.
Yes, we have had times of crying, times of not wanting to do anything, and times of minor acting out. But that's OK. That's normal. That's healthy. But we have also talked about missing Brewster, reminiscing about little things that we love about him, and how to handle our loss. We have talked about how blessed we were when people called or came to visit. We have given each other lots of hugs and sometimes given each other some space. My older sons and daughters have been a good support, and have modeled different ways of grieving that aren't harmful.
Yes, we've had times when we rub each other the wrong way, like his morning, when I was recovering from a medical procedure and anemia, and Mr. I had a sore throat. We annoyed each other and didn't treat each other well. But we were able to calm down, apologize, and give each other grace. It's hard, but we are learning. We are loving each other through a difficult time. We are healing as a family.