Yesterday was the first day of October. Yesterday was also the day that my grandmother died. It wasn’t something that I expected, and be honest, it feels like a punch in the stomach. Or maybe just a bit like some kind of cruel joke. We just visited with her in July, and it was the first time that my kids all got to meet her. I’m just so thankful now that things worked out and we were able to make that visit (something that would have been impossible if we had still been living in Arizona). When I felt the urging to go visit with her, when I heard that soft whisper in my ear to do it, I didn’t ignore it this time, and oh how so thankful I am that I listened.
To say that today is wrought with emotions is definitely an understatement. I cried during my workout this morning…..and no, it wasn’t because it was hard (I mean, it was, a little!) and it wasn’t because I couldn’t complete the class (I even managed to push and do the best I’ve done so far), no, it was just the releasing of all the things. All the emotions, fears, memories, hurt, joy, pain, all of it…..and being in a vulnerable, raw, open state of pushing the limits, the tears just spilled out. And it’s ok. I survived. It might have taken a minute to get through it. It might have been just a bit harder to climb the stairs and get back to the kitchen, it might have taken just a little bit more water than normal to get hydrated again, but I did it.
Because God knows before we do, I had already put The Fall of Freddie the Leaf on the Kindergarten shelf to read during Circle Time this week. I actually had planned on reading it yesterday, but we got really caught up in some of our other activities and when it came around to story time, my little independent learner had his own ideas about which books he wanted to read, so I just followed his lead (and ended up reading about 10 stories instead of the 2 I had picked!). Again, timing that is beyond my comprehension.
When I noticed this one on the shelf waiting for me today, I knew that it wasn’t just a coincidence. As a snuggled up with my little one of the couch and started to read him the story, the tears started to fall, slowly, one-by-one. My little one snuggled up just a little bit closer, and gave me a tight hug. Another tear fell onto the page, and he gave me a sweet little kiss. We took a little pause, and continued on with the story when I was able. Instead of just reading a story, my little one was blessed with the opportunity to practice empathy, to be ok with being with someone while they were struggling with some really hard feelings, and he learned something that adults aren’t even capable of doing- to just BE with someone who is hurting. You can’t fix it, there isn’t a quick solution, and no amount of I’m sorry is going to make it better, but just sitting there, just being beside someone while they cry- that’s a priceless skill that I’m so thankful my Kindergartener was able to learn today.
I started this new design about a week ago- I’m pretty intrigued by it (thus why it has seemed to fly off my needles until now). I’m playing around with some shaping and some different techniques to try out a new way to use those super fun striped sock yarns. I’ll let you know how it works…..and this knitting round and round and round all the way to the end of a sleeve (hint hint!) is about all my brain and heart can manage right now, so again, it’s perfect timing. Like someone planned it all for such a time as this……
Unfortunately because we live in a fallen, broken world, there is a need for children’s books on loss (and adult books too), and while it isn’t a pleasant thing to talk about it, it is a part of life. I picked this one, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf up several years ago. I also have “I’ll Miss You Mr. Hooper” that I plan on pulling out for tomorrow. When we were working through the loss of our pets, I relied on “The Tenth Good Thing About Barney” to help my kids process their grief. I recently got a copy of Tear Soup for myself when I was struggling with the death of my other grandmother, so I’ll probably plan to spend sometime with that by myself later this afternoon. Do you have any books or resources that you’ve found beneficial in helping you, or in helping you help your children, process grief? Please share in the comments if you do!