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Kids, Love + Parenting: How Loss is Helping Me Re-think My Approach

A family I know recently lost their daughter. When I think of their loss, I remember what's good in my life. I remember you.
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Photo: Andrea Anderson

A family I know recently lost their daughter...

When I think of their loss
I remember what's good in my life.
I remember you.
The moments that I once saw as problematic
are now no big deal.
The arguing over getting homework done
or playing less electronics and being outside more.
Well, it just doesn't matter.
None of it matters.
YOU matter.
And, your beautiful existence in my life matters.

When I think of their loss
I remember just how much of a gift you are to me.
I see everything you do as special and wonderful.
Even when you ignore my requests or rules.
Even when you are "behaving poorly".
You are ok.
And, I see you are telling me something.
You do not want to be controlled.
You have feelings and ideas too.
You want to be heard.
I'm sorry for not always hearing you.

When I think of their loss
I see your beautifulness again
and the beautifulness in my life.
The grass is not greener elsewhere.
Actually, now the grass looks so soft
and welcoming in my yard.

When I think of their loss,
my to-do list looks dumb.
I see the ridiculousness in all of these F-in' tasks
I think I need to complete to be ok.
I see I want simplicity.
Not complication + busy-ness.

When I think of their loss
I want to be with you, instead of my to-do list.
Actually, I want to throw my list out the window
and just be with you.
Be with the whole family.

When I think of their loss
I want to succumb to fear less
and follow my heart more.

When I think of their loss
I see how complicated us adults can make life.
Our relationships.
Our love lives.
Our money.
Our parenting.
There's nothing wrong with any of it.
We just cling to it being a certain way
and make ourselves "wrong" (or our spouses)
if things don't meet our expectations.

When I think of their loss
I think, how can I stop trying and striving?
And, instead, just enjoy you- my kids. My spouse. My life.
What if I spent more time being?
What if I just said "ok" to what is?
Allowed it to be
and loved the heck out of you and my life
as much as possible?
That feels good.

When I think of their loss
I am grateful again.
Deeply grateful for all that is in my life.