(originally posted by Heartlinks Grief Center at Family Hospice)
The Blank Page
It’s not my story to tell, not really. Yet, I know that if I don’t tell it, many of you will never hear it and it’s a story worth hearing.
Today, I met a little girl dressed for summer in all white with a beautiful braid in her hair. She had the biggest brown eyes I have ever seen and with her friends she was a sassy in the know leader of her group.
So, it came as a bit of shock when we worked in small groups that this child with her street smart airs refused to put anything but two feathers on a blank piece of paper. And she refused to talk to me. She just kept looking at her paper and then looking up at me with those brown eyes swimming with tears.
I didn’t push, I didn’t call her out, it was her paper after all. And we had asked the kids to put a memory on the paper, a memory of the person who had died – basically to tell us a story about their person that they could choose to share or not. It was her paper and her story, but I couldn’t figure out why it was blank.
As the kids scrambled out of the room and on to the next activity, I asked this child if she would stay with me for moment. The room seemed to expand so that this child and I inhabited a tiny pocket of safety within the walls of the room and in this safe zone, the little girl explained something important to me.
“My daddy died when I was two. I didn’t know him. I don’t know nothin’ ’bout him. I know he’s dead.
He gets two feathers for being an angel and that’s all he gets. Some days I think he must have been good and some days I think he must have been bad.
So I ain’t puttin’ nothing on there – that way he can be who I need him to be on a day.”
It’s not my story to tell and it’s not our job to fill in the blank page for a child when maybe that page is blank for a reason.
Make sure that you ask a child and then listen when you feel like their page is blank. It might not even be blank, it just might be a an ever evolving story that isn’t yours to see. ~Kris
Family Lives On supports the lifelong emotional wellbeing of children and teens whose mother or father has died. Available anywhere in the United States, Family Lives On serves all children & teens ages 3-18, regardless of race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status or cause of parent’s death.
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