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…


About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature and fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's, two topics that are very difficult to manage in real life. Barbara volunteers doing school programs and speaking to support groups. National Parks, hiking, and snow-shoeing are in her list of favorite hobbies.
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