Grief and Gratefulness: Part 2


This wasn’t meant to be a two part-thingy, but last yesterday stuff happened.

Stuff like me dropping my phone into a toilet in a Delhi mall (all sorts of gross people) and in my haste to grab it up I broke my necklace (minor in comparison, but still a pain).

Things like one of my littles coming in at 2:00 a.m. and declaring he needed to throw up, then proceeding to do just that, thankfully in the proper location. Then the littlest one followed suit and kept going all morning. The pink bucket is working its way around the family today. Let’s see where it ends. Those of you with more than one know what I mean. Dominoes. Just like Dominoes.

Then a difficult, painful thing happened yesterday. And this one that actually matters in the whole scheme of life. We found out that my first-grade daughter’s classmate had passed away. The little boy, younger than her, had been struggling with an illness since birth. The heart-breaking truth of this alone brought me to tears for his family. But what made me sob ugly is that he was one of two of her best friends. She is a kindhearted little jewel who loves fragile people. She’s a caregiver. She had been quick to notice in kindergarten his delicate nature and always spoke of him with tenderness and compassion. And I’m so proud of the way she loves those who others sometimes forget to love.

Her reaction to the news has been mixed. I don’t really think she understands the concept of death in the same way our 10 and 8 year olds do. They both quickly burst into tears, even though they didn’t know him. However, she looked at me and said, “His mommy must be so sad.”

She hasn’t cried, but says she’s sad. And as personalities go, she tends to process inwardly. So it may be days before she fully understands the weight what’s happened. Perhaps when she’s back at school and in the environment where she knew him. I really don’t know.

So there is still grief today. Our bodies are not 100% and our hearts hurt. It’s been a day to just hunker down and do things that make us feel better—movies, chai and cake, and maybe another movie if the power ever comes back on. And just give ourselves the space we all need as individuals to move in our own grief in our own way and keep turning our hearts back to gratefulness, in some way or another. Even if it’s just the gratefulness of the moment and being together. Sick bellies and all.

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