Grieving is part of life. I used to think we only grieve when someone we love dies. And we do. I have grieved the tragic, traumatic deaths of both my parents long before I was ready to let them go. But in life, we grieve much more than death. I have grieved the loss of my biological father, who is still very much alive. I have grieved the attachment I wish I’d had with my mother and the mistakes I’ve made with my own children. I’ve grieved unmet expectations, those I placed on myself, my husband, my children, and even my friends and family.
Grief is our response to loss, the journey to acceptance, and It can be a painful one. The grieving process has never looked pretty for me and I have yet to face it without great resistance, anger and hopelessness.
One of the most common sources of grief is the loss of relationship. And from a grief perspective, the more complicated the relationship lost, the more complicated the grieving process associated with the loss of the relationship.
As foster and adoptive parents, we know complicated relationships, don’t we? We know loss, and our children know loss. Our little ones are often way too familiar with pain. It’s important to acknowledge that they are grieving, consciously or unconsciously when they get to us, and in the event they have to leave, we will all have to grieve.
So how do we face the pain of grief? I wish I could tell you that there are 3 easy steps to move you through quickly and easily, but that would not be the truth. This week, I sit down and talk with social worker, foster mother, adoptive mother, Jennifer Crowe. Jennifer and her husband, Mark, have experienced the loss of children through infertility, miscarriage, failed adoptions, and foster care. They are very aware of the pain that comes with loss, both for themselves and for their adopted and fostered children.
This is a deep conversation, and while we did not come up with any quick fixes, we do share some insight that has brought comfort in our personal times of grief. Please share any wisdom you’ve learned in your personal experiences with grief in the comment section below. This is a tough one, and we need each other.
DEEPER DOWN THE WELL
Deeper Down the Well
I was introduced to this beautiful 92-year-old woman, Dr. Edith Eger through this interview
this past September and I believe it is a “must watch” for all human beings. Dr. Edgar is a Hungarian, Holocaust survivor, and she is not only a survivor but a “thriver”. I was so inspired by her story that I read both of her books within weeks. Dr. Egar says that all “our work” is really grief work. Reading her books this past September helped me come to a place of acceptance with the deaths of my parents in a very meaningful way. I hope she touches you as she has touched me!!
You can find both her books, The Gift and The Choice on the Mamas Well resource page