Yesterday I was sat in the kitchen typing away on my laptop when I heard the telly say the line,
‘…if you have ever lost someone close to you who is very dear…’
To which my ears pricked up, for some reason, and then I heard
my beautiful, wonderful, fabulous son say to the telly
‘Yes I have…’
And this both took my breath away and made my heart skip a beat at the same time.
T still very much misses his Grandad and Grandma and I know he finds this difficult. ‘Why do other people still have their Grandad and Grandma and I don’t?’ and this and other questions about why people die are the ones that I can answer factually but I can’t change the reality and that’s very hard.
The children’s grief has gone its natural cause and this is very much like an adults I would imagine but a little more open. They don’t hide when they are sad and they ask those questions that most adults may wish they could but adulating gets in the way and that stiff upper lip that’s called for when the usual time period of mourning has passed and you feel you should really stop mentioning it.
It’s hard for them to not mention their Grandparents and how they feel about loosing them but this is good as far as I can see. It’s good for them to say outloud ‘I miss them!’ it’s good for them to know it’s okay to be cross when other children have something they loved but now don’t. It shouldn’t be pushed to the back of the cupboard as something precious that must not be spoken about but thought of as a box that holds special things that’s good to open and look into occasionally.
‘Shall we get some Milka Naps, like Grandma used to buy us?’
they asked when we were in Austria at Christmastime.
‘Absolutely!’ I say, ‘she would have bought you a big bag of them as she knew how much you loved them.’
So that’s what we did.
We bought an enormous bag of the lovely chocolate and it tasted all the better for having reminded them of Grandma.
‘But F won’t know Grandma…’
said H rather forlornly as he realised that this was true.
And my rather observant son was right. Not only would F never know their Grandma but she also would never use the word ‘Grandma’ at all as my own mother passed away a few months after too. To know that the word that you used as a little girl to mean 2 lovely ladies who spent time with you, cuddled you and made you feel special will never be used by your own daughter is just so sad. F has no Grandma to call her own, and never will.
I love how the boys think of F even if it is something that causes them more sadness. I love how they talk about Grandma and Grandad and by doing this they know that she will grow up with given memories rather than remembered ones but I don’t this this to be bad. To know that someone loved you (despite them passing away when you were a tiny baby) is no bad thing. To know that they had an allotment, that they liked learning, that they bought you lovely chocolate when they went home to Austria is not a bad thing. To know that they would still love you had they still have been here is precious.
It’s a gift worth giving.
So I sighed a little when T said ‘I have.’ I sighed because he is still hurting and as a Mum I would love to take his hurt away.
I can only listen, hug and remind him of the very real love that was shared between his Grandparents and his siblings and talk about memories that he has.
T will work through this, just as Hubbie has done. The unfairness of the situation may remain but it will sting a little less as each year passes. He will say their names less often, keep the box of memories closed for longer but he will always know that he was loved; and that is a wonderful thing to have experienced.