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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Grief Too Big For My Little Guy

I've written about grief a lot in the past year.  Heck, I've written about grief pretty much the entire time this blog has existed. I still struggle to understand the best ways to cope and heal from it.  Currently, I am grappling with how to help my kids do the same thing.  It totally sucks. 

Everyone outside of Foster Care Land wants to paint this picture of foster care as beautiful and giving.  Yes, it is a good thing to have people who want to help kids and families.  Yes, those families are special. Yes, there is a tremendous need.  But the truth is that the day in and day out of foster care is messy and full of loss and its tough, tough stuff to deal with. And that's how it feels to be the adult in the situation.

Imagine being six. And really worried that everyone is going to forget you.  You watch everyone around you for signs that they are going to cut and run.  You wait for them to sit you down and tell you you're moving or your visit is cancelled. You wait for the scary noises that happened when you were little that cause you to jump.  You wait for the sounds of objects breaking.  You hope that this time when you tell the mom in the house you are hurt, she makes you feel better, heck you just hope she pays attention to you.

Then you have a really great day. You get to have a party at school wearing a costume that makes you feel amazing.  And your Foster Mom comes to the parade like she said she would.  And you get to go trick or treating with your Foster Dad and he makes sure you are safe in the street.  And everyone laughs. You feel so comfortable you fall asleep on the couch right next to Foster Dad.  Foster Mom comes to wake you up and help you up to your bed. And its really dark and you don't know where you are and suddenly, you don't want this mom next to you.  You want your Mommy. Not this Mom. 

And so you start to sob. And your words get stuck. And your Foster Mom looks desperately into your eyes asking you what is making you cry and you have no idea.  And the words won't come. And its dark. And the pain comes from nowhere.  And she's saying something about being safe and knows this must be hard but you don't understand.  Its confusing because you just feel sad and it hurts your heart so very much. And the tears spill over your cheeks. And you don't want to hurt Foster Mom because she is nice and helps you but you miss your Mommy. And you cry and cry while Foster Mom holds you and kisses your head until you fall asleep.

That's what foster care looks like this week.  Messy. Painful. Hard.

Simon, at six, is learning to grieve a giant loss that he will experience over and over throughout his lifetime.  This part is not beautiful. This part is awful and if I could absorb his pain I would.

 

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