Loss and Renewal
One thing I know for sure is that everyone experiences loss. In fact, our first encounter with loss is at birth. As we enter into our mother’s loving arms and a host of other beginnings and blessings, we simultaneously lose the warmth, security, protection, and nurturance of our mother’s womb. Likewise, as a child accomplishes each developmental milestone a loss simultaneously occurs. For example, when a child begins walking his or her world open to many wondrous possibilities. The child however, also loses some of the special care and protection given by his or her mother as he or she moves beyond the parent’s glance and into uncharted territory. The toddler is exhilarated by their newfound freedom but also experiences many bumps, bruises, and scrapes along the way. So my friends, like it or not, loss is an integral part of the fabric of life. The good news is that with each loss come numerous opportunities for continued growth and renewal.
Far too often I witness adults attempting to protect children from loss rather than preparing them for the inevitable. Perhaps it is our own fear of loss and our need to shield our children from pain that inhibit us from discussing difficult topics with our children. Ironically, it is our inability to address these issues that send the message to children that death and loss is be feared and that feeling of sadness should be avoided at all cost. The first step in assisting children through the tough stuff is to examine and accept our own feelings about the difficulties being faced. As hard as this may be, it is essential to experiencing the growth and renewal that loss offers as well as preparing our children for empowerment in their journey through love, life, and loss.
-Diane Cantrell, MA, LPC
Diane Cantrell is a former kindergarten teacher and the author of the Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Recipient book Good-Bye, Baby Max, available at ChildTherapyToys.com. Here’s what Diane has to say about the book and her newsletter, “Preparing Children for Love, Life, and Loss”:
“I have written Good-bye Baby Max, to encourage dialogue around loss in one’s life and the importance of grieving them, as well as the importance of renewal and hope that is born out of loss. Furthermore, my desire is that this newsletter will provide thoughts, information, and an opportunity for reflection on all aspects of love, life and loss.”