Brown-Wolf: An ode to my kids, and perhaps to yours (column) |

Brown-Wolf: An ode to my kids, and perhaps to yours (column)

Saying goodbye is hard to do.

No matter how much you prepare yourself — no one can truly anticipate being so damn sad. Grief flows its own river.

Like many, I’ve had significant loss — in addition to my grandparents, death took my two aunts, my dad, two brothers and a number of pets. I know how grief works. It grabs you, swallows you, spits you out and repeats until you crash and start to finally begin again.

This time, my loss is not so permanent; thus not so powerful. That said, good-byes are painful, and change is scary. My oldest child leaves for the University of Colorado this month, altering our family life forever. Ellie will be back, probably with a load of dirty laundry and a need for home cookin’, but she’s gone. Her place at the table will be vacant, her bed empty and her siblings lonely (Okay, maybe not all the time).

The happy news? She’s embarking on a grand adventure, starring herself. It won’t be long before my other two leave, too. I’m beyond proud of the people they’ve become and, yet, still sad.

To help me process and understand the tremendous change, I’ve written an ode to my kids, things I hope I’ve taught them. I’m sure I’ve messed up, forgotten things and have probably failed in some capacity. But that’s parenting. At least I made a list, outlining 25 things I want them to know. Who knows if they’ll heed the advice or grasp the full meaning, but I can hope.

I wish you a life of love and know that you are always loved by me

Find good company

Laugh often

Eat lots of fresh vegetables and don’t drink too much alcohol

Call me when you are hurting or happy — I’ll be there

Remember to breathe deeply and that it is enough

Brush your teeth

Be honest with yourself and with others

Know that life isn’t fair, but it is what you make it

Eat breakfast (more than a Starbucks’ latte, please)

Work hard

Pay your debts (better yet, don’t have any)

Don’t post inappropriate pictures online

Take good risks (Don’t jump out a window, but do try a new activity/class)

Read for fun

Know that it is okay to let go

Don’t hold onto anger, guilt or resentment

See a doctor, an acupuncturist or a good healer when you are sick

Take your vitamins

Don’t leave a friend alone at a party

Don’t stay alone at a party

Trust your intuition

Be kind

Meet many diverse people

Know this: I am forever grateful for the time we’ve lived together, arguments and all

Carrie Brown-Wolf lives in Silverthorne.

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