by Samantha Light-Gallagher
When I became a widow in 2010, I experienced the pain of losing my husband. But what was even harder to go through was my children losing their father.
It was important to me that my children got the attention they needed to grieve, but I was not capable of supporting them 100 percent of the time.
This is why it was so important for me to have asked for support from family and friends to fill in for me with the boys when I was taking care of family business or when I was not capable of pulling myself together.
To put it simply, I sometimes needed a breather. My taking time out once in a while made it possible to provide the best support to my children. I needed to take care of myself to be able to take care of them.
Also, I took my boys to a counselor to talk about their feelings. What they learned from the counselor was to identify what they were feeling and how to work through it. She taught me how to provide help in their process of healing and how to work with them at home.
I think the most important thing a parent can do is be honest with their children in times of tragedy. Telling them how I was feeling allowed them to open up and share their feelings. It allowed me to include them in some of the decisions we had to make. There were some things I left them out of because of their youth, but including them as often as I could made them feel important, built their confidence and allowed them to heal.
Finally, hugs and kisses always seemed to help. They helped Mom, too.