Friday, February 8, 2013

Grief And Loss

It was really rather predictable.  Our nanny, after four years, was leaving.  It was the right time.  Things change, kids grow older, and our families needs evolved.  My daughter danced around the room nonchalantly refusing to pose for pictures.  The night before she had carefully lettered a thank you card, but all trace of tenderness was now gone.  Like so many of us, she had already become an expert at erecting barriers. 

Thirty minutes after an emotionless goodbye, my daughter struggled with her jacket.  Her boots were dangling haphazardly off her feet and her hat lay untouched on the counter.  The rest of us dressed and ready to go, looked back with annoyance.

That's when the damn broke.  She sat down on the floor and began to cry.  Her face contorted as the tears ran down her cheeks.  I was stunned by the strength and volume coming from her mouth, and the heavy heaving of her chest. 

Grief.  Pure unadulterated grief, she carried on free of the constraints and self awareness of maturity.  And as I watched, I couldn't help but ponder the loss I bear witness to in my everyday life. 

Walking in and out of hospital rooms stains ones soul with the harshness of human reality.  Unlike my daughter, I am always struck by the silence.  Heads turn down and tears are quietly wiped away before being allowed to traverse down the cheeks and fall petulantly to the ground. 

Sometimes I long for the loud, overwhelming, embarrassing grief of the child.  That way, I could steal close and put my around shoulders and coo gently into their ears.

And promise them with great confidence,

that everything would eventually be OK.

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