Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Which Parent or Witch Parent???

Monday, September 22, 2014
Posted By: 
Kris Lukas

On a random Tuesday morning, I pull up in front of the school for my youngest (12). She just started 7th grade. I press the button, and the mini-van door slides open, “OK honey, have a good day! I love you!” But, she doesn’t move. She sits there, frozen, and the tears begin to stream.

She yells, “Mom, keep driving!”

“What are you talking about?”

“I can’t do it. Today. I just can’t do it. It’s Dad. I miss him - I can’t deal with anybody. I can’t go in there.”

I close the van door and pull into a parking place, because, “I get it”.

Now my internal struggle begins. Do I play the “witch” parent and tell her to pull it together? You need to go to school. We all have bad days. We all have to do things we don’t want to do. You are stronger than you think. It’s been 2 years, why did it hit you so hard today, do you think? What can I do/say to get you to calm down and get to class?

Or, do I play the nurturing parent? I know, I know, come here, and let me hold you. Let it all out. It’s ok to cry. Sometimes it just hits us out of nowhere. It happens to me too. I know how you feel, I miss him too, with all my heart. I wish he was still here – to be with us, to be with you. You shouldn’t be grieving the loss of your Dad, today, or any day.

In hindsight, I ended up playing the ‘middle’. I held my daughter and we cried together and then we held hands and walked into that school together. I talked to the staff and they found her a quiet place to work, undisturbed, but secluded, so that she wouldn’t be marked absent. It worked, for about an hour. Then, the phone rang and I went and picked her up and brought her home. We spent the day together, being quiet and sad, and memory filled, and we worked on the school work that she was missing.

This isn’t how this random Tuesday was intended to be. We were all supposed to be in our places, doing what was expected of us. But, we live in a new reality where every day is not how we once envisioned. We make the best of these tough days, we get through what we need to get through, we have our moments, and we hold onto hope. We hope that tomorrow will be a little less sad, we hope that our children will turn out ok after what they have gone through. We know that as the only parent, no matter how hard we try, we cannot fill the void of who is missing in their lives. We hope that the choices we make to nurture and guide our children are somewhat on track. We hope that there is some value, at the end of our journey, in what we have gone through, we hope that it’s just that we can’t seem to see it right now.

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