Many years ago a family member offered one of my daughters a shiny new helium balloon. She was very excited. We were outside on an overcast and windy day. I attempted to help her hold on to it, thinking it might fly away. She was an independent three year old that wanted to do it alone. The balloon was loosely attached by a clip to her dress. Eventually the clip failed and the balloon slipped from her grasp. We all watched the balloon float farther and farther away. My little girl fell apart into a inconsolable storm of pain, loss and anger. I knew it wasn’t just the loss of the balloon. We had just moved to Alaska from the East coast with out her father. The balloon was another thing removed from her small world. I will never forget her pain. I will never forget feeling so lost and helpless as a parent. It seemed like I could not ease her heartbreak.
Most adults have experienced the same overwhelming emotions and sense of loss my child did at three; just for very different things. Often we experience our losses with extraordinary anger, pain and grief; because it is tied to something else. Regardless of our age, we can loose control in the surface wave of emotions, that pull us back into thick muddied waters holding past events.