Friday, August 30, 2013

Child Grief

I keep learning in all of this.

With time, the full weight of the loss seems to grow less heavy. It falls away a bit. Or maybe it just becomes easier to bear. For me.

But for my little one, it is quite different. With each new developmental stage, Erika seems to uncover more of what this loss means for her. More of her life and her future is touched as she grows. Age brings understanding. And with it, new grief.

My grief is old grief. A feeling and re-feeling of the many aspects and reaches of the Chris' death. Healing comes bit by bit--and sometimes even in bunches.

But for my baby girl, grief is a new and different thing. A growing brain discovering and feeling new aspects of the loss at every turn.

It seems to come about every 4 months or so. Conversation about Daddy heats up. Lots of questions. Lots of pretend play and phone calls to Daddy.

This week she is grappling with the finality of death.

"When Daddy comes back, we are going to play hide and seek."

And I don't know what to do. I probably say the wrong thing. I tell her Daddy is not coming back--he can't come back. We will see him when we go to heaven, but he will not live here with us again.

Maybe I should just let it go. Let her talk. Let her pretend. Because when I tell her the sad news, she runs to her room and won't come out. Won't let me touch her or hug her or even talk to her.

I--along with every other parent in the world--can't bear to see my child in pain. I want to rescue her. Stop the hurt. But there is nothing I can do.

Pray for my sweet girl?


  1. I will pray.
    I will pray healing and wholeness and hope and a future.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Emily,
    Perhaps in the Long Run, She has experienced something at an early age, and will learn to cope, with everybody's when she is older, and if/when a friend her age goes through their time of grief, she can be of comfort to them!
    At age of 12 my grandpa died,It hit me hard, Especially when Grandma said, she knew of kids that died...I had never known of a kid that died, it shook me up. My folks, and grand-folk's all were Christians, but still I had not experienced this aspect of life so far.
    My folks never took us kids to funerals, perhaps because I was a young kid, or perhaps they needed time to be alone with friends/ I didn't get to see (even Christians no less) comfort each other during this time. I believe they should have brought us kids, even if it was for a short time.

    God Bless.

  3. Emily,
    I have heard of your story through my housemates Jerry and Karen Hime. I have followed your story and posts since your husband died. You have been such an encouragement through your grief and hard times as I have dealt with some of my own anger, bitterness, and grief of my own kind. I am a kindergarten teacher and love children dearly so I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you to watch your child figuring all this out. I have been praying for you when I read your posts about Chris just before he died and have been reading them since. Thank you for your honesty and for your transparency and also for sharing your faith. It has strengthened mine. God has shown me a lot about trusting Him even when I don't understand what He is doing. I had my dreams and life planned out in a direction I thought God wanted me to go and it has been years and I still am not where I thought I would be, but God has shown me I need to live, grow and be where God has me. I surrendered a lot of those things to Him this spring, including a desire to be married and have children. God has brought sweet guy into my life and we started dating in July. I know I need to continue to wait on the Lord's timing and remember to get my strength and satisfaction from Him. Again, thank you for sharing your journey. Marhea Monson

  4. Father, God, I pray for Emily that You would give her the wisdom to talk with Erika when she remembers things about her daddy. Father, God, give her the words to say to her. Father, I ask that You would help Erika to turn to You as she tries to understand what has happened to her father, each time something triggers her memory as she grows and her understanding is opened more. Help Erika to see during those times how much her mommy loves her and how much You love her. In Jesus name, Amen.