What can children hold on to after the death of a parent?
It has been a little over a month since my daughter was killed in a car accident. Every day has been a day of tears, some expressed, some silent. My 15 year old twin grandsons are so overwhelmed with grief they are almost paralyzed. They are both looking for reminders of their mom, things they can hold on to, and my husband and I have given them things.
The twins want to hear stories about their mother. But it is the values that their mother instilled in them, values that are passed from one generation to the next, that will help them the most. So I wrote a list of their mother’s values for them. The title is “Some of the values your mother gave you” because other values will become clear over time. Values are something that children cling to, moreover, they are a recipe for life.
FAMILY IS IMPORTANT. Your mother found love and support in her family. She wanted you to have this too, that’s why we had dinner with Pampa when you came and why she took you to see him when she was dying.
GET AN EDUCATION. Read your mother’s resume and you will see that she was always learning. She knew that more knowledge would lead to better jobs and a better life.
WORK HARD. Your mother worked hard for you. So she got up at dawn and drove two hours to her work and two hours to her house. She wanted you to live in the house she chose for you and attend the high school you wanted to attend.
BE A CARING AND SPIRITUAL PERSON. Your mother believed that kindness leads to more kindness, so she was a Girl Scout leader, a church volunteer, and gave back to the community in other ways.
SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE. There were times in life when your mother didn’t have much, but she always shared what she did have: extra clothes for the kids, appliances, food (Christmas cookies and apple pie), and plants. Sharing made your mother feel good inside.
BE HONEST AND ETHICAL. When his mother worked for a company, a disgruntled worker threatened to take production shortcuts because his mother, a woman, was his boss. Her threat was not only unethical but also unsafe, and your mother told her that if she jumped a lock she would shut down the production.
LAUGH EVERY DAY. Thanks to “The Big Book” and the way she lived her life, your mother found laughter in life. Laughter energized her and delighted those around her. Your mother would want you to laugh every day and enjoy the life you have.
Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson