My girls have not yet experienced A Loss. One of the big, impacting ones. Even I – who have experienced significant losses – am still privileged to have My Biggest Losses be a future event.
Today marks the three year anniversary of A Loss in our family. It was not someone my children knew well. They don’t fully understand the circumstances surrounding The Loss, or the epidemic of losses The Loss represents.
They just know they had to show up.
At funerals. At church. At people’s houses (when this was a thing). At the cemetery. At home, during sad, grief-filled moments.
We haven’t shielded them from seeing the pain and the tears. We haven’t excluded them from the ceremonies and memorials.
Grief is part of life. And even if they aren’t the ones grieving, I want them to know that as a family, we show up.
There are times when grieving needs to be done together. Mournful wailing. Sobbing embraces. Important moments of sad togetherness. Spaces where memories are sacred and any emotional outbursts are accepted without question. Tears. Laughter. A combination of the two.
They don’t get it yet, but they will someday. They’ll understand the need to grieve with their friends and family, to sob into someone else’s arms, to be able to hand their grief over for someone else to hold, even if just for a few minutes.
Someday, they’ll understand the importance of showing up.