Catie’s Thoughts on Grief & Loss

Journal Entry: November 3, 2021

I’m finding that dealing with my kid’s moods is one of the toughest things about parenting. I have a hard enough time dealing with my own moods swings without getting on their roller coaster cycles too. When you’re younger and you think about being a mother you seem to overlook the emotional toll it’s going to take on you, at least I did. Like when Brady’s fish died a few months back and you would have thought that his best friend had died. I’ve never seen him cry so hard. 

Catie watches Brady hold a dead goldfish over the toilet

I did my best to let him know that his grief would go away and that flushing the fish down the toilet would help. I think I said “out of sight, out of heart” or something like that. Which I think made him cry even harder. It was breaking my heart watching him suffer so. I know from dealing with periods of my own losses and grief that it’s easy to feel like the pain is never going to go away. But it did, eventually. Grief just sucks! One thing for sure it lets you know what’s important to you and what your attachments are.

Catie stands in her daughter's messy room

Which brings me to Izzy. It looks like her best friend didn’t exactly die but she might as well have. It seems she isn’t her best friend anymore. I’ve never seen her so hurt and sulk so much. I can’t get her to do anything. And her room.  Yikes! Disaster doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’m not sure which is harder, rejection or death. And then Brady didn’t help. He forgot how mopey he was after his fish died and in his bratty voice just yelled at her to “Just get over it!” Izzy yelled back that she couldn’t just flush Anna Marie down the toilet. Then they got into a big fight on who whose loss was worse. 

It was a scene I’d rather not remember so I’m not sure why I’m writing about it. I guess as a mother when you feel your children’s pain you have to heal right along side them. Writing helps get something out of me. It helps me process all the emotions. Kyle is for sure no help. He’s a man and just compartmentalizes it. Events like these hardly phase him.

But for me, seeing my children hurt is like daggers in my heart. I can now see why motherhood is the toughest job on the planet. It’s emotionally draining. So how do you get through these experiences faster or at least a little easier? Hum…..le’s see. I guess with lots of compassion. Empathetic love. A whole lot of patience. A willingness to do some inward reflection. (Like what’s really making this hurt so bad?) Some positive distractions and soothing self care activities. And last but not least, father time and prayer. Sounds like if I followed this recipe I could heal from just about anything. Now if I could only take my own advice.

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