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Taraji P. Henson Peace of Mind

Source: Facebook Watch/Peace of Mind With Taraji P. Henson / Facebook Watch/Peace of Mind

In her Facebook Watch show, “Peace of Mind with Taraji P. Henson,” the actress speaks of various ways to cope with the challenges of everyday life. They spoke about the specific type of grief people experience with the sudden loss of a loved one.

Henson has had her own experience with sudden loss with the father of her son. She spoke about coping with the loss and the particularly difficulty of breaking the devastating news of the loss to her then nine-year-old son.

“My son’s father was suddenly taken, murdered when he was nine. And I didn’t know how to tell him that. I told him he died in an accident. Later on in life, he found out and he came back to me and was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me my daddy was murdered?’

And so then, we had to get therapy.”

Taraji asked therapist Sierra Hillsman what advice she’d give to parents who have to break such devastating news to their children.

Hillsman said, “I would definitely say use age-appropriate language explaining sometimes there are situations where people do evil things to other people. In this situation, somebody killed your father.”

Taraji said the way in which her son’s father was murdered was so heinous, she didn’t have the heart to tell her son the details.

“I didn’t have the balls. I didn’t. It wouldn’t come out. I hid it. ‘Cause I read the actual… it was in the paper. And I didn’t know how to tell him. He was stabbed to death; it was the worst way you could die. And I just didn’t have the words. I didn’t know how to tell a nine-year-old…  that there was so much hate in the world that someone would do that. I tried to show him the happy side of life. I grew up in the hood and I wanted to keep that from him. I just didn’t have the words, and we suffered later for it.”

Her decision to sugar-coat the truth left her with a huge sense of guilt as a parent.

“I have so much guilt because I wish I would have known what I know now because I would’ve handled things differently. Maybe we wouldn’t have struggled so much. That’s why I go so hard for mental health because we don’t know and we think when our kids are acting out, we go ‘Oh they’re just being a teenager’ but most times there’s really something wrong, but because we don’t know we don’t talk about it. I don’t want us to not know, to not save our children. That is the guilt I have as a parent. We all have those things as a parent where I could’ve done this better and that haunts me.”

Hillsman said, “It’s important for you to not blame yourself for something that you did not have at that time.”

Henson said with what she knows now, she wouldn’t have broken the news to her son in that way but she often questions her parenting decisions. .

“I know that now. I know that. I’m not as hard on myself but I still carry that. I’m good some days and then some days if my son is struggling with something I go, ‘It’s your fault.’ If you didn’t …that’s just the guilt a parent carries. It’s not that I consider myself a bad parent, you know… I’m a Virgo too. That’s still a struggle for me and that’s something I’m constantly talking to my therapist about… Children don’t come with manuals, humans don’t and relationships dont. So, you just learn as you go and you try to do the best you can. But every parent feels like that.”

You can watch this episode of “Peace of Mind with Taraji P. Henson,” in the video below.

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