Grieving the loss of milestone events.
Written by Dr. Liz Matheis
Here we are, weeks into quarantine, and there is so much that has changed in so little time. In my house, I have a son who is in 8th grade and a daughter in 5th grade. This year marked graduation, special trips, and many events to commemorate the completion of one milestone and the start of the next one.
Last week, my daughter shared with me that she felt sad. She was sad that she would not be able to enjoy so many activities that a large group of parents and I started planning in June 2019. She’s sad, and I felt sad too. I wanted to make it better for her but realized I couldn’t offer her a consolation prize, or anything else in its place. Nothing.
My heart breaks for all of our kids, our 5th grade, 8th grade, high school, and college seniors. I realize that it is OK for our children to feel sad and to grieve the experiences they won’t have. I was speaking with my neighbor, a grandmother who is a retired teacher, who offered this perspective: “In a few years, we hope that our kids will move on to other milestones, and these milestones won’t hurt as badly.” One can hope and pray.
According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, there are five stages of grief that we tend to pass through. Those who are sad and grieving are likely to witness different emotions that they are likely to experience as they process the loss:
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