While I write this it is raining. A steady drizzle with a chill in the air. It was supposed to be prom today for Sam and all the upperclassmen at CPHS.
Good – I’m glad it is raining. Since no one can have prom today let the weather be crappy. It makes me feel better. I know I am not alone in how I feel. It helps me to join other mothers of seniors and lament. Yes – we can say we are grieving. Grieving for our anticipation, our plans and happiness in what we expected the last few months of our child’s high school senior year was to be like. Just like we cannot compare grief of the loss of a grown child to grief with the loss of an infant, we cannot compare this kind of grief to other types. Grief is grief. Don’t compare it or feel guilty for it. Just feel it.
Some of us moms have complicated grief. Maybe two children graduating. One high school and one college. Some parents have children experiencing other milestones like a birthday – yet they cannot gather family and friends to celebrate. And the hardest – all of the mentioned and a recent death of a loved one. More complicated than one wants to think about.
Us parents feel the disappointment of missing milestones we have been waiting for since the start of our child’s senior year. We had a vision for them – the anticipation of the “best year” of high school – senior year. We had expectations- maybe we remember our older child’s experiences during this great time. Or we have fond memories of our own past.
When COVID came the world made a direction change and we had no say in it. Any parent who lost a child suddenly has experienced this. You wake up and your world is not the same. Ever again.
With our lives now during this pandemic we didn’t experience change in just one day, but it was still a shock. I imagine you have woken up and wished this was just a dream. I have. I have many times since Nolan died.
I have had the rug pulled out from under me before. And I got up. Again and again. I know living this way now for over three years has prepared me for our current situation. This is not how we planned our life. This is not how we expected things to be right now.
Try to remember a very important thing. Your child has been on this earth less years then you and they are a teenager. And a teenager can feel invincible. You have raised your child to go out and be somebody. Do something. And they will. This is an experience that shapes their being, a lesson of life (and death) in a big way. They did not get where they are because they followed the perfect path that you arranged. Now they see life can be very unpredictable. A bold and brave young adult will take this world on.
We have no control over the next months – no one can predict what life will be like now with COVID – maybe we parents take this as our prep for the next years with our graduating child. Your dreams for them are still possible. But be prepared for them to take flight and go East when you thought they would go West.
Enjoy watching their flight.