Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Grief is an odd thing. I have been thinking about this for the last month or so, ever since my Grandpa passed away. He was 91 years old and the proud father of 7 (!) children. It wasn't a surprise when he died. He had gotten pneumonia the week before, so we knew that the call was coming.

The real surprise was how long he did live after the love of his life was gone. My sweet Grandma passed away 10 years ago this week, and at that time, they had been married for 59 years. He adored her--it was something that we talked about at his funeral. My aunt commented that he was certainly a "one-woman man". I think they met in school and that was that. :) Knowing that, I thought for certain that Grandpa would be gone within a year of a broken heart. And I think he wanted to be gone--he wanted to be with his Bette.

But that was not the plan. He was here to meet 9 of his great-grandchildren, which I like to believe gave him joy. (I know that my Grandma would have spoiled them rotten.) In the past few years, his mind deteriorated. He moved out of the home he had lived in for years, and into senior housing. Then, he needed more help and moved into assisted living. At that point, he claimed that he found Bette again and was going to marry her! It was cute, yet sad at the same time.

We saw him at the end of Halloween, when we all got together, and he was incredibly lucid. He watched the kids run around and we had a nice conversation. He left the room and then I found out he went back to his bedroom to take a nap. I regret that I never got the chance to give him a final hug or say that I love you. I like to think that he knew that.

So, ever since he passed, I haven't really cried. I feel a few tears, but nothing really happens. I know from past experiences that something odd will trigger it, and then I will finally be able to cry.

The actual day of the funeral was strange. Obviously, the basic needs of children always trump everything, even grief. What I mean by this is that I couldn't even think of where we were going that morning, because I still had to treat it like a normal day: get the kids changed, fed, bathed and dressed and then still prep the diaper bag to ensure that they needed for the day. Afterward, we all went out to eat and spend time together as a family. And then that night, Mike and I watched a movie at home, but it just felt odd to do "normal" things at a time like that. I know that is what you should do. Life goes on, and enjoying life doesn't diminish the person who is gone. It just feels weird.

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