Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lessons Learned

Some conversations - or lessons learned are never easy.
"She said it's hard to explain.
I asked her to try anyway."
Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you love has cancer... a hopeful, helpful book for kids

My boys attended their first funeral this past weekend. We had a week or two to prepare them that their aunt was in the hospital and that there was a strong chance that she may not pull through.

The real shock was that our sister-in-law was so sick. Apparently, had been for a while. She mentioned some tests to a couple of us, but her adult sons were not aware of all this. These past three weeks, for both of them, have been a crash course in navigating the medical and legal fields, all while dealing with their own shock, sense of overwhelm, grief, and anger, at having been unaware of what was going on with their mom.

Some conversations are never easy, but we need to give our children, at any age, a place to ask questions, express fears and concerns and feel a part of our lives. While we can.

As parents, we want to "protect" our children.  The reality is that we can't. We can only show our love by empowering them with tools that foster resilience and trust. Knowing what and how much to tell our children will vary depending on age and situation, but the lesson learned this past weekend is that it is a conversation that needs to happen, before it's too late.

How much have you told your children about a challenging illness or situation in your family? 

For links to resources and support, please visit our Butterfly Kisses Book website
In addition, Supporting Kidds offers a number of programs and information for grief support for children and their families.

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