This whole Grandmommy thing just doesn't quite feel real, yet, for either me or my mom. We talked about it this morning: both with Grandmommy & my dad, we were very prepared - it was time; it wasn't a shock; and we knew what the next logical steps would be: visitation, funeral, cleaning out their rooms. I know for me, my brain deals with these things very logically at first: I know they knew Jesus, I know they're in Heaven, I know God's plan & timing for us is perfect, so there's no point in wallowing in grief. They're safe, healed, & happy; I've got to go on here; and we'll be reunited soon enough, in the eternal scheme of things. I hope no one thinks I'm emotionally detached for not breaking down into an uncontrollable weeping mess at the funeral, but as my mom keeps saying, "If we really believe what we say we believe, then there's nothing to be sad about." That's how I feel, and esp. when it's not a sudden tragedy or a younger person, you know?

That's not to say we don't have our moments - going to the assisted living home this morning to clean out Grandmommy's room was not pleasant. :'( Going with my mom to go through her big house (a family friend is renting) over the next week is going to be even less pleasant. :'( But still, mostly on autopilot: I'm glad to take & wear a few of her sweaters, and I'm *so* honored to wear her garnet opal ring that I always adored on her finger as I was growing up.

We really are fine for now. It's even easier for me, b/c 1) I *never* passed up a single opportunity I had to visit her - every single time we were home (I've been gone fr/ NC for over 12 years now!) I always got to spend time with her; and as soon as the kids were born, I made sure they did, too = no regrets. 2) B/c I haven't been local all this time, her passing seems less "real" yet, b/c it doesn't change my daily routine. Does that make sense? It was the same when my dad died: I was a freshman in college, so I wasn't living at home; it doesn't mean I loved him any less deeply, but it wasn't such a shock to my actual days, b/c I hadn't lived with him in months. It softened the blow...

...And delayed the grieving. With my dad, I didn't *truly* break down until two years later. I was in Rome; my mom had come to Europe to visit while I lived in Germany, and we were at the end of our Italy trip...when my brother called her from home that our beagle, Lizzy, had died. Lizzy was my dad's BFF - she was the last bit of him, and when she passed, I mourned him. Hysterically. In a hotel in Rome.

I'm sure the same will be the case with Grandmommy - moments of tears now, but really overall OK, on autopilot...and we'll see when the grief trigger strikes down the road...

For now, we'll keep celebrating life & thanking God for every second we have together here as a family. :-) I can't tell you how thankful I am that I can be here this next week for my mom!!! The only thing I refuse to let myself think about is when my role will be hers & Annelise's mine...


  1. Very beautifully written. I'm sorry for your loss, but like you said, you will see her again.

    How are the kids handling it?

  2. I have read your blog for several years now. However I have never commented. But I wanted to know just how much I relate to you. My father died three and a half years and while I was sad there was no break down moment. I, like you, knew he was saved and didn't live with him. However, :) my daughter's hamster died about a year later. And I LOST it! I cried the entire day. I didn't even like the hamster. :) Anyway, my point is I can definately understand you and am sorry for your loss but even happier for you because you know where she is. Sherry

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to share that, Sherry!!! I love being able to commiserate!

    Leslie - the kids are totally fine. :-) Annelise cried a little at the funeral, but they have the healthiest handle on death I've EVER witnessed in children!!! They *do* fully understand they will never see the person on earth, again, & that the person can't come back here; but they also understand why going to Heaven is awesome, so we really shouldn't be so sad, and that only God gets to choose when we all go, so we shouldn't worry about "when" - just live the best, happiest life we can on earth until it's time.

  4. We were all devastated when my mom passed away. Even though she'd been fighting cancer for 14 years (and polio almost her whole life), when we found out it spread to her liver she was gone a few days later. So, none of us were prepared for that happening at all, including my dad...there were no arrangements made re: funeral, last wishes, being there in-person when she went to the hospital that last time (one sister, her family, and I were flying to NC as she passed away). That first 6-12 months was really, really hard for all of us in our family.

    It didn't help that we got married five months after she passes away, as I went through the wedding planning/wedding w/o her physically being there (she *loved* weddings). At the same time, I know she was in so much pain, especially the last few years, that it gives me great comfort to know that she is no longer suffering, no matter how much I miss her. I know she is still actively part of my life, every day, just in a different way than when she was physically alive. And, as you said, we'll all be reunited together, which is comforting to know too.

  5. I can't imagine, Heather. I will say, it is SO MUCH easier on everyone when everything is planned out will- & funeral-wise ahead of time. Grandmommy planned her funeral in detail in 1993, went back a few years ago to review, and that was it = such a weight off my mom & her brother (and thankfully, nothing to argue over!) Not to be morbid, but I want to plan mine out early, too. I honestly won't care, b/c by definition I won't *be* there; but any agonizing I can spare my precious kids I feel is a gift I can give them.


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