Friday, August 24, 2018


Yesterday was my daughter's first day of First Grade.  And like many parents, I took some photos to commemorate the occasion.  Later that morning, when I was looking them over, I saw that I gotten a pretty cute one of my daughter standing next to a sunflower she planted earlier this summer.  My first thought was, "Oh!  I'll have to print this one for Grandma Betty."

And a wave of grief rushes in.  Grandma Betty died three weeks ago. 

Grief is such a funny thing.  The way you have absolutely no control over what will trigger you. 

Grandma Betty's death wasn't unexpected.  In fact, when my phone rang that morning three weeks ago, I knew exactly what was waiting for me on the other end of the line. I don't even think I said hello to my mother.  I answered the phone with, "Is Dad okay?"

He was, and I was too.

I didn't cry during that phone call. I didn't cry when I told my husband.  And I (surprisingly) didn't even cry when I told my daughter. I cried when I went to Grandma Betty's house a couple of days later.  I was overwhelmed with grief just being in a place where she was *supposed* to be, but wasn't. 

My birthday was about a week ago, and Grandma Betty didn't call me.  She didn't send a card that included a paragraph about what she'd been doing or a detailed report of her most recent visit to the doctor. There wasn't five dollars tucked into the envelope with a note that said, "Go buy yourself a little something."  My sister gently pointed out that she might not have done those things anyway, considering she had been recovering in the nursing home recently.  But the grief seemed to hit in the realization that she would never call me on my birthday ever again.  The grief smacks me with the hard truth that I am now "grandparent-less." 

I'd like to tie this all up in a nice bow, and tell you how I feel her smiling down on me and it's all going to be alright.  But I know these waves, these moments of grief, will keep coming. The spaces between them will increase, the intensity of the feelings may decrease, but I think the grief will always be there.

I remember reading once that "grief is just love with no place to go."  So maybe I'm not being hit with waves of grief at all.  Maybe it's just waves of love. And I'm not about to wish those away. 

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