/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » grieving again

While nothing truly prepares you for a loved one’s death, sometimes the age and health of the decedent can ease some of the shock.

Case in point: last October 15, our young and healthy neice Emily passed in to eternity. The shock and horror were intense and the fear that strikes the hearts of young parents everywhere reverberated in our lives and continues even now. Yesterday, July 18, my 96.5 y/o grandfather also passed in to eternity. But Grandpa was ill (congestive heart failure and severe senile dementia) and was quite advanced in age. So while the reality of his death is affecting me deeply, it’s also somewhat easier to deal with than Emily’s death.

I was at the doctor’s, waiting to be seen when my mom called. The shock was bad, but nothing like last fall. And my doctor was an immense support and help. He told me that the prognosis for CHF is worse than that of cancer, and reminded me that I will see my grandfather again. And he’s right.

We waited to tell Brendan until we were together as a family last night, expecting that Brendan might be sad, but not expecting his true response. This little tender-hearted boy sobbed. He cried like his heart was breaking. I had been okay (without showing much emotion) up until that point, but that simply made me lose it. I think the severity of his reaction was due to his expectation that we would visit Grandpa next week when we’re in Michigan on vacation and the fact that he and Grandpa had a great bond. For whatever reason, all of Gramps’ rough edges disappeared with Brendan and they often cuddled and exchanged handshakes and kisses. Brendan’s memory of Grandpa is strong–we saw Gramps 2 or 3 times per year and he loves looking through the photo albums and seeing Grandpa.

My grandfather’s request was to be cremated, and I really don’t have any issues with that. To be honest, I’d rather remember my grandpa as he was–strong, vibrant, and with a booming voice and a penchant for story-telling.

I think Brendan will join us for the memorial service and maybe even the graveside interrment. He has never seen a casket, so the concept of cremation will probably pass right over him. At least, that’s my hope. I don’t know how to explain a box of ashes to a preschooler.

The truly strange thing to me will be leaving for vacation on Sunday and the thought that this will be a relaxing, fun time with dear friends and again mixing a funeral in with it. I think it will feel strange to have fun and enjoy our trip and see friends and end our trip with the memorial service and wake. I’m still going to enjoy the time we have up north, but I wish it wouldn’t be tinged with grief..

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Category: life musings
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  • Jeanette

    Wishing it were not so, yet aware that God is in it somehow. Prayers going up for you and yours, sweet friend. xoxo