Good Grief!!

so what is good grief? lol

I’m sure everyone’s heard that my dear Brother, Robert Morris has left this earth and has moved on to another journey. If you haven’t then I apologize that you have to find out via homepages.

My brother was 40 years old and he suddenly passed away Wednesday, October 22, 2014. He was sick for a while and his road to recovery was complicated by having multiple chronic diseases.  We were all rooting for him to recover but one can only suffer for so long before getting tired.  We are devastated but we are strong.

I want to share a piece of the eulogy;

“I could go on and on about Robear but I know that we will all carry the good memories and love throughout our lives. He would not want us to dwell on the should haves or the sadness of him being gone. He would have wanted us to continue loving and bugging each other. We loved our brother and will continue to love him in our hearts. We will miss our brother and we were blessed enough to have him in our lives for as long as we did…”

Everyone grieves differently,  just like the fact that we all live our lives differently.  I got a message from someone saying that “It seems like you’re not even sad that your brother died”  I got angry and than I decided to let it go. I thanked her for her words because it reminded me that there are people out there who are watching you and will judge you, but ultimately their judgement doesn’t matter.  It just served as as a reminder that people are watching you and learning from you, especially the younger and the little people in our lives.

I always keep my children foremost in my heart and mind. I use that to guide me in being the best parent I can be even in something  as devastating as losing my brother. I could fall apart and be a sobbing, non-functional mess BUT in the end who does that benefit? NO ONE! especially not my immediate family.  My children still need a home to live in, food to eat and a Mother who is present and there for them as they are going through the loss of their Uncle. I lost a Brother but my children and my sibling’s children lost an Uncle.  Here are some tips to help your child through their grief.

1. Be home and be available while at home. – I don’t really have a social life nor do I partake in extra curricular activities that take me away from home.  (like bingo, nightly church meetings or going out with friends) Once I leave work, I go home and stay home pretty much. When I’m home I try to make myself available to my children by being in the living room and letting them know I’d drop anything and everything I’m doing to be there for them when the feelings of sadness hits them.

2. Let them know that WHATEVER they are feeling is all a part of the normal grieving process and there’s no particular order in feeling them. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to get mad and it’s okay to be happy at the memory of their loved one. It’s okay to feel any of those feelings in any time of the day or night. It’s is also okay to feel guilty. Guilty about the should haves or if only I visited him/her more or if only I….the list could go on. Please let your child know that it’s okay to feel that way but it’s only okay to linger in that guilt but it’s not okay to get consumed by it.

3. Know when to give them a hug or to leave them alone. This one is kind of tricky. There are times my kids want to be alone in their pool of feelings and there are times they want us to bug them…tricky kids. Don’t give up on them even when they push you away. That is when they need you the most. Just be available.

4. Kids tend to keep everything inside of them because they don’t know how to identify what they are feeling or how to express what they are feeling. If you as a parent don’t know know the full extent of what feelings are and what they feel like than take the time to learn about them.  It’s a good exploration exercise for us as adults and sharing what you’ve come to learn with your child is an essential key in guiding your child through a very confusing maze.

5. Stay sober! Yes, you are hurting but your child is even hurting more and will be in more pain if you go off drinking.  Alcohol and drugs are not the greatest way to cope with anything. Remember that you are the role model in your child’s life and if they see you using drugs or alcohol in ways to cope with pain than that’s what they’ll be influenced to do as they get older. Plus, getting high takes your presence away from the here and now and your child needs you HERE and NOW! not after you’re done your high and not when you’re hungover after a night out or after a bender.

6. Let your child know that you will not crumble if they bring up memories or stories of the person that passed away.  Let them know that you may get hit with a pang of sadness but that’s human. Assure them that it’s okay to share such good memories. Memories are what keeps the people alive in our hearts.

7. Encourage them to continue in their extra curricular activities especially if they’re “active” activities. Physical activity will help them cope and kicks their feel “good”endorphins into play.

Those are just some tips. Nothing magical about them. Just some simple things to help your child through.  Through it all, take care of yourself….Eat right, get enough sleep, do some daily exercise. Exercise will help carry that heavy grief and give you the strength to be there for you child(ren).  Grief and grieving is a part of life. It will come and it will go so just go with the flow. Don’t find reasons to stay stuck in the sadness & trauma of it all. Just keep moving and living your life. Life is too short to stay sad for the ones that passed on. Life is to live for today and for the little ones in our lives.  Angie Loves You!

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