Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Lesson in Acceptance

At school on Mondays, we always go around the circle and tell about our weekend and today (our first day back together) we each told about our holidays. I was able to share (without tears, in a pretty low key manner) about my mother’s death. I told my kindergartners in simple terms what happened: that because she was very old the tubes that the blood goes through to the brain had gotten very skinny inside and that a ball of blood (blood clot) got stuck in her neck and stopped the blood from coming to her brain. That side of the brain began to die at that moment. I stressed to them that this was because she was very old and that they do not need to worry about that happening to their parents because they are not old. We even looked on the number chart to find 93 to see how many times she had been around the sun.

They had lots of questions that I did my best to answer simply and honestly, sometimes though the answer was that I just don’t know. (Those were mostly the flying angel questions.) We did not talk about her memorial service or cremation. Later, there was some ambulance re-enacting in housekeeping  center, but they have played “dead” and “rescue” before. This is one way that kids process information: to act it out. Children already have various ideas about death and dying but I hope that I shared this as a natural part of living, not something to be worried about or feared but accepted.

At this point, I accept, but it is still very painful. We were very close. There are moments when I just really want my mommy.

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