Parenting Porcupines

Monsters Under My Bed (and in My Head): Part 3 – Grief & Justice

Episode Summary

Main idea: Grief is part of life, and part of growing up. Recognizing the challenge it poses for our kids is just one of our jobs as moms.

Episode Notes

On the blog here.

Episode art: Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

It is a fact of life that we will all experience loss in our lives. Loss of loved ones to death, loss of a job or other opportunity, and loss of relationships are things that are not new to any of us who have made it well into adulthood. As adults we are seasoned in dealing with loss (well, most of us are generally at least somewhat prepared to have to deal with it), but we don’t always consider how loss impacts our children. 

This article was especially insightful, and in the article “10 Ways to Help a Grieving Child” there are some really helpful suggestions. 

Is it sometimes difficult for adults to remember the range of emotions we felt as children in various experiences we might have had? 

How do we find comfort?

Jess: When we planned to discuss in this week’s episode how we help our children through grief we had no idea how the topic would change in tone and cadence. When we initially planned this week’s episode I (Jessica) had just buried my grandfather, and was mourning the loss. I was also helping my children grieve the loss of their last living great-grandfather, which is something I am still working on, but this week we are also grieving as a nation. 

As we discuss the topic of personal/individual grief it is also important to discuss community grief. This week Officer Derrick Chauvin was found guilty on three separate charges related to the death of George Floyd. Moments before the verdicts were read to him in open court the news broke of another officer-involved shooting in Columbus, OH, where 16 year-old Ma’khia Bryant was fatally shot by a police officer in an altercation outside her foster home. In the bodycam footage of the incident, Bryant appeared to be brandishing a weapon and attempting to inflict bodily harm or death upon another teenage girl. 

We can discuss the particulars of the incident. We can dissect who we think was right and who was wrong, this person’s character and that other person’s intent, but the common theme is grief as a community

Grief that a man was killed by an officer who was sworn to protect and serve, and grief that a young girl lost her life at the hands of an officer who was trying to protect another child from injury or death. Perhaps the death of Ma’khia Bryant hits a little differently for our kids since she was just a kid too. Our kids need to understand that it is ok to feel the range of emotions that accompany difficult situations whether impacting them individually or those that impact their community. They need to know they are supported, but more importantly how to support one another in grief as well. Let’s teach them well.