I was talking to a friend who was concerned that his daughter has not sufficiently grieved the loss of her mother. After four years, I wondered about my own kids and I asked him, “What would it look like for her to grieve now?”

Neither of us really had an answer. The obvious answer is being sad and angry and nostalgic about direct memories of the person you are grieving. But I know that’s just a part of it and with kids who are growing and changing and involved with the now so much, there are fewer of those outright connections.

The answer I’ve come to is the simple one: it’s all grieving. It sounds extreme, and I admit I came to this because really I can’t always know what is and isn’t grief in my children. Also, it all feels like grief to me. So I add a little perspective and acknowledge that there is a lot of grief in growing up. In our household grief for the loss of Matt is naturally woven into the experience. I’ve come to see that grief itself is the mechanism we humans have to work on ourselves.