"Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself
They come through you but not from you
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you
You may give them your love but not your thoughts
For they have their own thoughts
You may house their bodies but not their souls
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow..."
Excerpt from On children by Kahlil Gibran
Written a century ago this poem supposed to give a poignant advice about parenting which would have been a big trigger for me as I feel I failed it when I lost Bee. My mind tells me that I was given only one job is to protect Bee and prepare her for the future and I didn't complete that task. But reading this passage slowly in the lense of grief I did have some refections which can be helpful for the hardest part of my grief work that I am not really ready yet: self forgiving.
I may have not known a better way or have much control as I thought I would....
Bee was a busy bee and when she started crawling then walking and running I just found myself running around to protect her from falling, jumping or bumping her head into things. The more fearless she was, the more fearful I became. My heart was not in my chest, it was outside beating feroriously with every single of her step. I carried that fear with me into her teenage years. Protecting, shielding, keeping her safe and healthy was my main focus in parenting and I guess that was the best I knew how to. Having so many losses at that time and being a sole parent subconsciously I always had a fear of losing her. In every single photo that we took together I either held her hands or locked her with my arms as if if I let her go she would dissappear.
"Our children come through us, not from us"
Although I dont think Kahlil included the death of the child which has been an out of order tragedy when he wrote this line but since birth and death are an integral part of life I would like to challenge that thought. If say children come through us not from us it can also mean that they could have started their journey before us and ahead of us. Time, direction, order, sequence in that sense would be a myth as it would not be the same way life goes as we are taught to think. Here is what I want to visualise the word THROUGH: Bee came to this life through me but her soul journey may have started before me. She lived, shared the journey with me, had an earthly experience and now returned home ahead of me. I am here continue my journey in the dark and pain after she left but it is my own journey to finish. Love, metaphorically speaking, is my guiding star and our bonding can be continued across the realms. The pain of her physical absence is still there with me for the whole journey but I can find the way home through her by holding onto Love. In the meantime she lives through me and I live through her, let's that thought sink in then.