figured it out or the grief that never goes away

“Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you”
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My thirteen year old is grieving. He is grieving in advance. His older sister is feeling tons and tons of guilt. What about? Growing up and “abandoning” her little brother. Her little brother is feeling the abandonment at least a year before the reality strikes. I haven’t a clue what my nearly seventeen year old son is feeling. He doesn’t even play the three hundred question game. He does not express his emotions in words;even when they are provided for him.
We had long talks last night about growing up and becoming adults. We talked about old abandonment issues getting mixed up with normal feelings of loss when a beloved sibling starts to move out into their own life. We talked about younger brothers needing time to figure out who they were as an individual-not an extension of older siblings. We talked about how close the grown kids still were;in spite of having their own lives and individual families. We talked about finishing school-even if you thought you couldn’t stand another minute of it.
My daughter was reminded she could take as long as she needed to move into independence. There was no set time frame. Her home didn’t self destruct the day she turned eighteen. In the end I told my thirteen year old to give his sister permission to grow up. She was his sister and loved him. We were his mom and dad and it was our job to take care of him. It was his sister’s job to grow up.
We discussed the reality of their past abandonment;the ugly things they don’t want to put words to. We did not tell them the pain would disappear,lesson and become bearable, but not go away completely. We did tell them we were there and would stand by them as they sorted through the hard feelings. We talked about faith. We talked about fear. We talked about wounds that will always hurt. They were hurt. Badly. It is hard to know what to do with all the feelings that come up because of that pain. The pain is very real. If we could, we would carry it for them. We can’t,however. What we as parents can do, is be next to them and help them carry it. Kind of like Sam carrying Frodo as Frodo carried the burden of the ring.We can be there. We can listen. We can love them.
We do love them.

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About lenell

Wife to a very patient man and mom to 8 interesting kids via birth,marriage and adoption. Grandma to nearly 5,nearly perfect grandchildren.
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