Monday, June 25, 2018

Lessons in Grieving

Lessons in Grieving 

Today, marks the one year anniversary of the day the world lost Casey.
Casey was the youngest and only boy in my first nanny family. I was with him from the day he was born until he was 6 years old. Casey was in my wedding on June 22, 1996. He drug my current charge down the aisle. I am so glad that I did not know then, that 21 years and 3 days later at the age of 29, he would leave this earth.
This last year has been a hard one for me, but I know that as hard as it has been for me, it can’t compare to the loss his parents, his sisters, his soul mate Maria and the rest of his friends and family feel every day.
When you are a nanny, and you work with a wonderful family, one of the things that happens is that you get to be someone who frequently swoops in and makes things better. You juggle schedules, you come to work early, you stay late, you work an extra weekend and your employers come to think of you as their own personal hero. Time after time, you get to “save the day” And when you work for an amazing family, it is always noticed and appreciated.
One of the hardest things about this tragic loss for me was that there was absolutely nothing I could do to fix it. I didn’t get to swoop in with a solution, or extra hours or a brilliant idea. All I could do was send them love.
This loss rocked my world in a way nothing ever has. It continues to rock my world on a daily basis but, I have learned some important lessons and I want to share them with you.
I wrote about this last August, how a nanny’s love has no expiration date. You can read it here;

The love we have for the children we have cared for, doesn’t ever go away. Sometimes we are lucky and we get to have them in our lives, but sometimes we only get to have them in our heart. We have them for a season, we love them for a lifetime.
I wrote about how I didn’t know how to grieve this loss and I also said that I was hurt and disappointed that only 2 of my friends had continued to reach out to me as I grieved this loss. After I wrote that post, I heard from a number of nannies who checked in on me and said they were sorry they had not supported me but the message I got over and over was this one.
“We thought you were ok. You didn’t say anything, and we just thought you were ok”
So…I learned an important lesson that I want to share with you.
Grieving people hurt. They hurt every day. They wake up hurting and they go to bed hurting and they hurt when they wake up at 2 AM and can’t go back to sleep.
They might talk about it and then get quiet, and you might think they are ok, but when people don’t talk about the pain, that is the time you should worry. Grief has no timetable. Long after everyone else goes back to their normal life…grief lingers.
When people get quiet, it usually means they aren’t dealing with the pain well.
Even the strongest people need love and support. Don’t assume. Strong people are used to dealing with their own stuff, but some things are just too hard to bear alone. When you know someone is going through a hard time, a simple phone call, a card, a thinking of you text is always a good thing to do. You never know the difference it will make.
I didn’t talk about it, I kept it all inside and pretended to fine…until I wasn’t and I couldn’t. I am better now but today is going to be a hard day, for me and a lot of people I love. I hope you will keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. I hope you will text me or message me and just let me know you are thinking of me but more importantly….
In honor and memory of Casey and the amazing human he grew up to be, I would like for you to eat an OREO (his favorite cookie) and do a random act of kindness today.
Putting love out into the world is the best way I know to honor Casey’s memory.

His family also has started a foundation in his name. If you feel inclined to a make donation to that would be wonderful too, but most importantly…just be kind and compassionate and extend a little grace to everyone you meet today.
I know Casey would love that.

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