I’m not sure how fluid this post is going to be, but it comes from the heart and kind of a lot of personal experience–unfortunately. The past few of years has been so tough for my family. I lost my grandmother, my uncle, my two grandparents and now my grandfather.
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have great grandparents. How incredible is that? I don’t think I knew a single kid that knew their great-grandparents. Though I wasn’t incredibly close, we’d visit, we’d hang out and we had a relationship with them. My kids too were and are fortunate enough to have great grandparents as well. With this being said, with having a lot of older family members, comes the inevitable. I think by the time I was Natalie’s age, 8, I had been to at least 4 funeral services. I can’t tell you how my parents explained it to me, but all I knew was it was sad, people were crying and it was LONG.
My parenting style is kind of blunt, I really don’t mask many things, but I try and tell the kids in a way that they’ll understand. If someone is sick or has been battling something… I kind of just tell them that. Thankfully they haven’t really asked what happens after or anything in too much detail.
Just last weekend, I lost my grandfather. It was one, a shock and two a doozy. My gosh, it hit me like a ton of bricks in the middle of Sunday breakfast. It was just a point of no return- I emotionally shut down. I walked home from breakfast and upon my return, the little kids were out riding scooters and playing in the driveway. I was still super visually upset. Zoe understood what was going on, but explaining something like this to a 3-year-old isn’t easy. I told him that my grandpa was sick and that he passed away. The minute I said grandpa, he thought it was one of his grandpas so I immediately told him my grampie, and showed him a picture. He was so concerned… He told him “I’m sorry you passed away your grampie” and gave me the biggest hug. He asked if I was okay, I just told him that I am very sad and that my heart hurt. He offered a band-aid. Brendan scooped the kids away for the day, but T was reluctant to leave. I told him that I’d be OK but even today, 8 days later, he’ll still tell me the same thing… “I’m sorry you passed away your grandpie..”
I know that this upcoming weekend will be tough– I find it super hard to find a balance as a Mom. I want to show strength but I also want to show it’s okay to be sad and to grieve. We are so far removed, location wise, that it doesn’t really hit me until I’m there and I’m with family and soak it all in. I’m just trying to mentally prepare myself to be a present granddaughter, daughter, niece, mom, and wife…