Friday, March 25, 2011

Kids and Deployment

As a military spouse I have always known the time would come where deployment takes over our world. And now it has :(  Don't get me wrong my husband has deployed many time but those were all before we were married. My son and I have also dealt with my sister's deployments and  good friends. I thought after going through all that my son would be able to handle this much better than he is. It seems like the closer we get the worse things get. He will still be here for the next couple months on and off so I can only imagine what it will be like when he leaves this summer. So the other day I was thinking and remembered being in school and learning about the five stages of grief. In case you don't all remember they are
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression (sadness)
  • Acceptance
I now feel like those also apply to deployment. Not only for us spouses but especially for the kids. I wish we could skip them all and get right to acceptance. I know my job is to be strong for the kiddos but sometimes it seems so hard. I feel like I am about to explode into tears at any moment. My little boy is having a hard time expressing himself. When we first told him he acted like "so what no big deal" he even made jokes. I would say that was his denial.Then he went through the "how about dad just stays for my birthday" - that would be the bargaining. Then he started acting out and eventually told me "I don't want dad to know I am sad"- There is the depression. Next he told me "I am going to be mad when dad has to leave" - The anger. So far we have gone through four out of five and I am thinking acceptance won't happen until after he is gone and we get a routine going again.
I told him it is ok to let us know how he is feeling and that we all feel that way at some point. I wanted to write this post because I know there are a lot of other families who are going through the same thing and I want you all to know it is ok. You and your kids will feel every emotion under the sun but in the long run we will all be stronger people. God never gives us more than we can handle.


stacey said...

Well said. Thinking of you all.

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Lizann said...

Amen to this post! I went through 3 of my husband's deployments while we were dating, but had our 2nd child just before our 1st married deployment. Totally different. And now I am getting ready for my 2nd married deployment. I kept telling myself "this is no big deal, I did it last year!" But the kids are a little older now (3 and 1.5, with a baby on the way) so their reactions will be different this time around. The stages of grief are so appropriate, and good to watch out for!