MaryJo, one of our beloved horses died this past week. She had a good long life. My daughter said it made her feel like the best parts of her childhood were dying off. I understand her feelings, but that statement made me think back to my own childhood. What were the best parts?
I remember lots of little pieces of my childhood such as playing jacks on the sidewalk behind the school, tether ball, pretending to be a trapeze artist on the swing set bar, building communities out of mud near the playhouse my father built by hand, and later on turning that playhouse into a dog house when I brought home a stray black lab that had been abused.
Mother still lives in the same house, so no change there. Then it hit me. When my sister died in a terrible accident at the age of thirty one (I was twenty five), my childhood no longer mattered. I have deeply grieved for people and places and pets since then, but things from before her death, my childhood, had to be put away or I risked thinking of her. That was how I coped at the time. Her loss changed the course, the width, and the breadth of my life.
Grief is an incredibly powerful part of our lives. I believe we should be taught some tools to deal with it, but then, I believe we should be taught tools of good parenting and that doesn’t happen either. Can’t we make “Super Nanny” a required course for all students in high school? How about adding in a seminar explaining how grief is going to affect you and that there are tools and people out there who can help you get through it – healthy. Ignorance is not always bliss.
and so it goes…