Grief is a natural, normal and healthy response to loss. A variety of experiences interpret it from misplacing Grandma’s ring, to adjusting to the loss of a loved one. Each person copes with grief in his or her own manner, learning to find comfort and draw strength in helpful ways. Children are often the ones who grieve naturally, without apology. Their freedom to show honest feelings can be an example for the rest of us.
I saw a small child openly sob when the top of her ice cream fell off the cone. She couldn’t speak from the shock. All she could do was sob and point to the quickly melting pink ice cream that lay in a pool on the sidewalk. Surprisingly, she didn’t want it replaced. She looked at what was left on the cone and began to lick and eat it. Walking away, she glanced back several times, perhaps wondering how it had happened. As I watched, I learned a few things about children and grief. The child didn’t want her ice cream cone replaced. She cried openly at her loss. She looked back often, trying to figure it out. Those three lessons could fit well with me most days.
The question is often asked if we’ll ever get over our loss. A good response is, “Do we really want to? Perhaps a better question is how can we learn to live with it in positive and healing ways. Herein presents the challenge.