Thursday, March 26, 2015
Death is a rather uncomfortable topic to address in society. Unfortunately, this is something that we all must face at some point or another. Our family, sadly, was hit by this last month when my husband's grandmother passed away. This was the first loss in the family since our daughter. I know, for me, this caused multiple triggers from when we lost Mary Beth. One of my concerns was that of my children. Back when we lost their sister, they had all been around loss, so I knew the older ones would be ok. However, seeing me break down did cause my oldest daughter to break down as well, but she and I are very close.
My biggest concern was having to help the youngest two girls navigate this. Yes, the one also went through the loss of her sister, but she wasn't even two when that happened. I almost felt like I was in unfamiliar territory this time. As much as I would love to take them and go hide them from everything that could ever hurt them, I know it's not realistic. Nobody can hide from death. Navigating these waters with children who have, essentially, been untouched by death was a concern as it is for any other parent. So, I began this by being honest. There's no point in trying to lie or sugarcoat this loss. We did have a few advantages in that we do keep photos of Mary around from the funeral home, so they knew there would be a casket and she wouldn't quite look the same. They also were familiar with the cemetery, so there was nothing spooky about going there.
Mary is laid to rest beside her great grandparent's, with her great grandmother's place being between Mary and her husband. So, in getting the spot ready the caretaker's took it upon themselves to haphazardly toss our daughter's belongings around, which meant broken items. That angered the kids and I. We are on first name basis with one of the guys and he knows this is a family.
The biggest thing that hit me was lost time. I know we can't always spend every moment with someone, but it still hurts when you don't get that last chance. I'm learning that, no matter what, when someone dies, we're gonna have regrets and things we wished we would of said or done. This, to me, is one of the reasons that I believe we should always tell and show those around us that we love them. She knew I loved her because I told her every time I would hug her. As far as I've always been concerned, she was my grandmother too. I didn't get to really have close relationships with any of my grandparents. She just meant the absolute world to me.