Grief is unpredictable. It hits us when we are the happiest we could be. We don’t live like everyone else. We keep out a wary eye, because it surprises us like nothing else.
Aiden lost his best friend, his “Buddy.” On Halloween, Aiden was walking on air. He was full of happiness and excitement. He was dressed up as Aang from his favorite TV show Avitar. While we were getting ready for the party, Aiden suddenly fell apart. He went from from overflowing with excitement, to being completely crushed with overwhelming sorrow, missing his Buddy, in two seconds flat. I picked him up and we sat on the couch and cried together. We talked about Mattie and then ten minutes later we were throwing a Halloween party. This is the roller coaster of grief. This is punch in the gut that knocks out all of your energy. It hits you when your down and it hits you when you have a rush of joy and happiness.
With Aiden, most of the time, he is speechless. He doesn’t want to talk about how much he hurts, but when he does, I ask him questions to help him search through the tangled pain. I ask him, “What made you miss Mattie just now?” and we talk about how Mattie would’ve been excited for Halloween too. We talk about what he might of be dressed up as or how if he was here we would all take turns watching him while everyone else gets ready for the party. We talk about all those little things that we miss. We talk about how Mattie was pure happiness, so when we get happy it makes us miss him. We talked about how when we feel happy, we feel Mattie, and sometimes that makes us cry.
Grief takes you in a full circle of emotions faster than you could believe possible. So what do we do? We let ourselves feel it and we talk to untangle our feelings and our thoughts. And when that is even too hard, we close our eyes and we just practice breathing.
I’m grateful to have my daughter Isabelle sharing her heart along with me as we process grief together as a family.