I am staying at my daughter’s house where there are three little girls – a set of twins who are five years old and a two-year old, vivacious young lady who thinks she is five years old.
I find it amazing how these grandbabies have dealt with the death of their grandfather and how they have worried about their mom and I throughout this process.
Annabelle told me one night as I was tucking her in that, “Mommy doesn’t cry anymore”. I was shocked to know that she was aware of her mom’s pain and I was very angry at myself for not realizing that the death of my husband is also the death of “dad” for our three children. Every member of this family has been dealing with a huge loss in their lives, just like me – the wife. I am sure that I also added to their burden with the horrible times I had during the first year of widowhood. I leaned on them a lot for moral and emotional support and they were there for me.
They never talked to me about their pain all year as I continued to feel sorry for myself. It was only when my granddaughter confided in me that her mommy didn’t cry anymore, that I finally got the message. I am obviously a slow learner and pretty selfish now that I think about it. Shame on me.
My other granddaughter also grazed my tender side when she looked at some pictures she had coloured for her grandfather during the period he had to spend so much time in bed. These pictures hung on the door of our bedroom. I nearly fell over when little Sophie said,”I made these for Grandpa, but you can have them now, Grandma.” My heart wanted to melt because of her awareness of both her pain and mine. Yes, as young as she was, she was mourning a big hole in her life too. She would later ask me why I was still wearing my wedding ring and my response was that I still loved Grandpa whether he was here or not. She seemed satisfied with that at the time – but I admit, these little charmers have really made me think about grieving, re-inventing our lives, and moving on – for all of us – not just me!
My granddaughters have a strong faith base in their lives, and they have assured me time and time again, that Grandpa is not lost to us, but living an eternal life beyond what we can imagine. They worry that I do not have the same strength of faith that they have. They want me to also have everlasting life in Christ. I am not sure how I feel about this…I always thought of myself as a good person, a Christian, a church supporting, conscientious Canadian. Would a strong, genuine belief in everlasting life, in the strength of God, make this time of my life easier, at least more manageable? I guess only time will tell.
At any rate, my grandchildren, my children, and I will muddle on and work through our loss one day, one week, one month at a time and deal with each challenge as it comes – together.
I have learned a lot from three little girls – that is for sure. I only hope that some day I can grow up to be just like them.