In many ways, our son needed to scream at the corn…


“YOU HATE ME!” he cried.

“No, I don’t hate you. I could never hate you son.”


This went on for what seemed like an eternity. In reality though, it merely went on longer than I knew how to handle. I knew what was at the core of this. I saw the bigger picture.

It was a little boy hurting. A little boy trying to make sense of something that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. He was learning one of the hardest lessons in life, long before he was ready. Though I wonder, are any of us ready to learn this, no matter when it occurs in life?

Death sucks.

I consider myself pretty lucky sometimes, despite the fact that I don’t really believe in luck.

Raising four toddlers, I have only had to deal with one temper tantrum. For all you parents out there, let that sink in. One temper tantrum among four lively toddlers – ever.

Eric’s death changed that in a lot of ways. Our return back to normal life, wasn’t so normal.

There were outbursts. There was screaming. There was crying.

“I want to run into the road and have a car hit me so I can be with my daddy!”

The first time I heard that from that little boy, my heart stopped.

I knew this had gone beyond what I knew what to do.

I made phone calls. I sought wise council.

He needed this.

I needed this.

We needed this.

Grief became bigger than a mother’s love.

The counselor’s name was Steve. He had a special way with grieving kids. He allowed them to process at their own pace. He encouraged art therapy.

Personally, I’m a big believer in art therapy. I have seen emotions expressed through art when the words cannot be found, and when emotions cannot yet be understood.

It’s a tool I have used throughout my children’s lives. I owe a lot to Counselor Steve for introducing this to me.

He helped me help my grieving child. But more importantly, he helped that child grieve.

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical of his advice.

He recommended I let him scream it out.

“Let him scream at the top of his lungs. Let him rant for as long as he needs to.”

My eyebrows raised. I wondered if this guy had kids.

“The condition is that he has to stand in one place and cannot move until he’s finished.”

I thought, “This guy is nuts. What kind of advice is that?”

“And what exactly am I supposed to do while he’s having a rant, screaming at the top of his lungs?”

“You ignore him.”

“Ha! You’ve got to be kidding me!” I thought. Though I may have said that out loud; knowing me, I probably did.

“How do I do that?” I asked.

“However you can. Read a magazine. Read a book. Pretend if you need to. Just ignore him until he gets it out.”

I hated that advice.

I hated it even more when I first tried it.

I had a magazine. Reading was a joke. He screamed at the top of his lungs while he stood under the window in our living room. I flipped through the pages pretending to be reading.

Within me, I was dying. I felt like a terrible mother. I wanted to go where he was and wrap my arms around him. I wanted to hug him and say, “I know son”.

I didn’t though.  I was desperate to help him.

This was killing me.

But you know what? It worked. I don’t remember how long it took, but a few weeks and it all ended. No more yelling. No more outbursts. No more telling me he wanted to get hit by a car so he could be with his daddy. No more “You hate me”.

A few years following the death of Eric, I finally understood what that was all about.

When I lost a mother, I ran out my kitchen door to the back field and screamed at the corn. In many ways, our son needed to scream at the corn…

© LifeasChristine, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to LifeasChristine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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