Nurturing Children Through Grief

Recently we experienced a great loss in our family, My beautiful best friend (soul sister) and her spirited 6 year old son were set to fly much earlier than any of us would have ever imagined. A loss that is so great it has shocked and shaken our entire community. These two wyld souls loved hard and with everything they had. Every minute spent with them both was a gift. We have struggled with the sadness and have had to discover how to walk gently through this time together as a family.

We have had to recognise that grief can be seen and felt in so many different ways and all of them are perfectly perfect. As a grieving mother, my own personal struggle has been to learn how to assist my children with this whilst simultaneously moving through the process myself.

My partner and I really wanted this time to be open and safe for our children and ourselves.

I wanted to share this with you all not as a sympathy post, but as a post that may be able to, in some small way, explore grief and help our children through the process of grieving. A guide to help reassure our children that everything will be ok in the end.

My youngest daughter was very close to our little wyld spirit, they were “twin flames” and I was terribly concerned how she would process the loss of her best friend at such a young age. She is only 5 and I wondered how much of what had happened she would actually understand. But it seemed, she did, in her own way.

As hard as this time was for us all, especially within the first few hours, we received our children’s questions with a very open mind and an understanding that each question was an important part of comprehending the gravity of what had happened. No question was unanswered or considered inappropriate. We answered every question with respect and compassion.

Almost instantly we noticed that our children grasped at their pens and pencils and started to express through art. Drawings and writings were becoming apart of their daily ritual. This was an important part of the process and we were surprised at how quickly they spontaneously turned to a creative outlet. It was beautifully natural and a positive connection to the understanding of what had happened.

Tears and emotions came in waves and not just from the children. We always expressed openly our sorrows in front of each other and we talked always about how we were feeling during these times. This let the children know that tears were healing as well as very normal and welcome. They learnt that we were all in this together.

Of course comfort, so many hugs as often as we could. During this time we found it was difficult for our children to be seperate from us. They needed consistency especially our little tree fae. She slept in our bed for the months after. She needed to be close by and so did we. We all stayed very close to each other to avoid separation anxiety. Reassurance was consistently given and still is.

As the sadness grew deeper we needed to come back to our practice.

Often we would connect back to the present moment with purposeful breathing times and meditations with mantras. Our mantras were chanted outwardly or internally as we needed them. We used them to keep us in a state of mindful awareness. We would often say “Let it come, let it go. let flow“.
For my older children this really helped keep the mind clear and steady from the negative thoughts that would roll in like the waves on a shore.
We practised breathing like the ocean. Using the sound of the breathe to guide us back to silence.

Time away and out in nature kept us grounded when we thought we would be consumed by the sadness. Nature walks and breathing with the sunset kept us still and clear. We would take time to notice all the beautiful things in nature as a reminder that this world is magical. We spoke about the earth’s energies and how they never change or disappear, they are always here and we are apart of it all. We spoke about the stars and how our stories are all written here long before we were even born. We talked about their light taking billions of years to reach us and, like all of us, even though they are long gone their light continues to shine across the cosmos. We searched always for the two brightest stars that were the closest together incase this is where we would be drawn to remember our loved ones.

The time came when we would have to face the remembrance ceremony and as a parent this was by far the most difficult time for me. I was unsure how to go forward with this, so we decided to let the universe guide us and our little ones in making the right choice for themselves. We travelled from our trip up north in our Shanti Van to spend the three days before the ceremony at our beloveds’ house with their family and friends. This was a very healing time for us. The kids were able to chat and play with everyone who was feeling similar to them. We would cry together, hold each other, talk about our beloveds, share memories as a whole collective tribe of love. We all gathered created art and decorated the house. We cooked together and honoured our friends. Before I knew it, the land around the beach shack had become a a transformational festival.  A village built by our beloveds, to create and hold space for us all. It was something I’ve seldom experienced in western culture and was extremely nurturing for the children. They observed and participated in individual ceremonies and activities that were constantly being held for our loved ones. 3 entire days of togetherness.

We gave our older children free choice of involvement during this time. No pressure to visit our beloveds on the day or to even stay for the ceremony. We respected and supported their choices and guided them through.  They chose to be present for everything and I was both inspired and overwhelmed by the maturity and strength.

As the months pass, we still find ourselves riding the waves and hurting with the loss. We have built an alter in our home, dedicated to our beloveds’ memories and celebrate them every day. We read books and create art that connects with our feelings. We use music to soothe us and guide us through. Sometimes we listen and dance to the music we shared with our beloveds.

We are together through it all. We wrap each other up tightly with wings of compassion and total understanding of each others individual processes. We hold space for each other with no judgement. We trust the natural process of grief and we smile, illuminating the whisperings of the ones we miss.

We Let it come, Let it go and Let it Flow!

 

About Rainbow Pammy

Rainbow Pammy is a certfied Ashtanga Yoga Instructor and children’s development specialist with over 13 years experience as a qualifed child care worker, teacher’s aide and mother. She developed Rainbow Yogis by taking her years of experience working with children, a love of the environment, plus a lifelong obsession with yoga and smooshing it all together!



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