Grief is not a train with a set schedule and regular stops. Grief is unpredictable. It is patient. If necessary, it will wait months and years before showing itself. This is a lesson learned from my children, from my son who mourned the loss of a kitten a year after its death, from my daughter who only now cries for the grandmother she lost two years ago. Children don’t run from grief, it comes when it comes and they give themselves over to it. Their emotions are raw. They scream and pound on the earth and demand the return of those they have loved and lost. They sob and gasp for air and lose control and feel no shame. When I look into their tear-stained faces, I struggle to remain present because it would be so much easier for me to turn away. I play games with my own grief – emotional hide and seek and charades. I hear my mother’s voice telling me that crying never solved anything, reminding me of the impracticality of emotion. So, I analyze and reflect until my own sadness is unrecognizable as such. But these are my children and my heart breaks when I see their pain and I can’t run. Instead, I swallow hard and hold them and tell them that I love them. I answer their questions as best as I can. When my son tells me that love involves too much risk, I agree and assure him that it is always a risk worth taking. When my daughter ponders losing us, I tell her that I hope we have many years together but I make no promises of eternity. Life is full of uncertainty. Death is the most certain of uncertainties. I hope they will not run from grief as I have. I hope they will know that stoicism is overrated, that sometimes crying is the most reasonable thing a person can do. I hope they never lose the ability to let go completely. I want them to know that honest emotion requires bravery beyond measure. I hope they will not be like me and I hope that I will learn to be more like them.