I don't know if it's just my kids, but they don't pick up on emotional signals very well. Wouldn't it be great if they could just adjust their behavior to fit my mood? It seems on those days when I don't just want them to mellow out, but I NEED them to mellow out, that they are louder and more out of sorts than normal.
Several years ago now, we went through a time of great upheaval. We were shoved out of a place that we had ministered to for four years and I remember crying during many of our everyday activities...as I made lunch, played with blocks, took walks, and even did school. I had just begun Kindergarten with my oldest son when our world came crashing down. There was no way to explain what was going on to someone so young. And being so excited to do these learning activities with Mama everyday, I couldn't just stop everything and mourn. So, we continued on.
Grief is such a natural part of life and we need to be able to deal with it appropriately, but does that mean we put school aside or push through? Of course, everyone will handle it differently. If the kids and I are all mourning together, then I think it would be appropriate to put things aside and listen and breathe however it seems most appropriate for a time. But when I'm mourning on my own and I can't really explain to them the depth of my loss, then I need to push through and just grieve quietly. Maybe others would handle it differently.
It's certainly not easy but in one sense continuing to work is lifegiving. When my grandmother died while I was in college I went back to work after a day or two just to keep my brain from turning to mush. Now my work is here in my home with me and I really can't not do it. They are so full of potential and purpose. Investing in them reminds me that not all is lost. And with all the quirky things they do, I'm sure they'll give me some reasons to smile. It takes a concerted effort to turn my mind from one thing to another, but for a few hours I will do my best. For them, I will do my best. So, today I'm diving in and hoping that they simply don't notice my heavy, frequent sighs.