Touched by loss. Empowered through community.


Monday, July 14, 2014
Posted By: 
Scott Bauer

How much and how often do you let your kids “in?” How much do they know how you really feel? Should they know how much you hurt and how difficult each day is to manage through? Is it ok to melt down in front of them?

Unfortunately these are questions we all deal with on a daily basis and, just like most other things we have experienced, there isn’t a textbook to guide us down the right path. Similar to many other circumstances down our new paths this can be trial and error.

My kids know how much I miss Lauri; they know how my stress level increases easily. They know that I can be forgetful because there is so much on my plate. But I try to shield them from my deepest pains and my feelings of depression because they have been through the same tragedy as we have and they are just kids, (or young adults). They look to me (us) as their “safe place,” and how could we take that away from them.

Many times this just adds to the total feelings of exhaustion and grief. But if I yield to these feelings in front of them, how will they react? Will they understand? Will they become scared and worry more than they already do? Don’t you think they all have in their minds the question, “What happens if mommy (or daddy) dies and I become an orphan?”

There really is no right or wrong and unfortunately NOBODY can guide you 100% all of the time. The so-called “Experts” can’t give you the right answers all the time and even your friends and family who may have experienced the same situation cannot tell you what is right and what is wrong.

AND THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Will we make mistakes along the way? Of course we will. But when it comes to dealing with your children, who knows better than you do? Believe that you will parent your children to the best of your abilities. This is much easier said than done but if you truly believe in this and convince yourself of this than that is one less 100 pound weight on your shoulders.

Because at the end of the day, your children put 100% of their faith, love and trust in you. Be open with them, talk to them and trust in them. I have learned that as much as I want to protect my kids, they want to do the same for me. And remember, mistakes are OK – we will continue to make plenty of them. Keep the lines of communication open with your children – this can help alleviate just a little bit of stress each day, (and who doesn’t want to take advantage of that?)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It is 3 1/2 months since I lost my husband from a very long cancer battle. My 3 kids are teens with the oldest girl in college. They get upset when they see me crying or lonely. They want to help and fix things. I tell them that what I feel is normal and I have to experience my feelings. They are coping well. I am glad but my relationship was different than theirs with their Dad. Their lives have not changed much compared to mine. They still get to be kids. I am sad that they have to feel bad seeing how hard it is for me.

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