Words with lots of meaning!
Loss, Greif, Heartbreak, Unknown, Empathy, Love
Loss: Unexpected vs. Foreseen
My daddy went to his heavenly home unexpectedly in January of 2016 at the age of 48. I will tell you that 2016 was a year full of loss, greif, heartbreak, unknown, empathy, love, and many more emotions… When the Lord decided it was time for my daddy to come home, I was at a loss. I was grieving for myself, my mom, my siblings (especially my brother who was a senior in high school), my grammy who just lost her son, my infant daughter, and my husband. I felt so emotional and overwhelmed as this was the most intense sense of grief, loss, and unknown that I had ever experienced before.
In December of 2021 at the age of 56 my father-in-law (grandpa) went to his heavenly home as well. This left us with more grief for the few days of 2021 but all of 2022. We had a little bit more time to prepare for his passing and knew it was approaching. The most common question I get is “Is it easier knowing than not knowing?”. Well, I will dig into that a little deeper later. Now, I was left with the emotions of my two daughters not having they’re grandpa and poppy. If you have stuck with me this far, I applaud you as emotions are rough, but know there is some light to be shined towards the end.
My heart was shattered for my mom who just lost her life partner, love of her life, soul mate, and best friend. Watching her make the decisions she never wanted to make, watching her focus on her three children, watching her trying to be strong when she didn’t want to even get out of bed was rough. However, this has brought me closer to my mom and helped me cherish the time more.
During this time I felt I couldn’t allow myself to grieve as I needed to be there for my family. However, I was an emotional wreck. My sister had two boys which meant my daddy had two wonderful energetic grandsons who called him Poppy. When he passed my daughter was almost 10 months old. She was his first granddaughter. Personally, I was hurting because she wouldn’t get to have the memories with Poppy that I had, or she wouldn’t remember him. Let me tell you that is not the case. She is now 7 and ask about him all the time. She has his eyes and my stubbornness, lol, which I believe came from him.
Now, when it came to my husband, I couldn’t have asked for a better one. He did what was needed for my family, for our daughter, my emotions, and his own. He never once complained about anything. Days when my emotions got the best of me, he just picked up or knew who to call to help. My husband was working 40 hours plus a week and a full-time college student. His family was amazing throughout this time, and I am forever grateful.
Five years later and now my husband and his family are dealing with the same situation. Mark (grandpa) was an amazing man, husband, father-in-law, grandpa to many grandchildren, and much more. My husband once again picked up and did as needed for the family as well as his siblings, and all the family. My heart aches for them all as I’ve been in their shoes. However, everyone’s grief is different, and I believe there is no comparison. It doesn’t make it easier knowing and having more time to prepare for the loss than not knowing and having it happen unexpected in my opinion. Neither one is easier, they both have their ups and downs and honestly, I believe the Lord knows what’s best for them and he will guide us through.
Loved Ones Left Behind
Now, a little time to shine some light on an unbearable situation. My mom known as KayKay has been a widow for 7 years and my mother-in-law known as Grandma a little over a year now. They both have so much strength, love, and empathy. They can grieve, reflect, talk about all the emotions together. For this I am blessed which seems like a terrible thing to say. However, the relationship/friendship they are providing to share with us, and our daughters is like no other.
This year has been a priority for our family and our girls to hold together and make new memories. While this may include talking and reflecting on memories about Poppy and Grandpa, taking family trips with Kaykay and Grandma together, dinners together, etc. My husband and I know it is up to us and our family to keep the love and memories from their Poppy and Grandpa going for them and we intend to do our very best. We want to say a special thank you KayKay and Grandma for being there for us and our daughters!
Also, I would like to leave you with some guidance. Please, know you are not alone. There is someone out there experiencing the exact situation you’re in or something similar. Turning to family, friends, and the Lord during these difficult times is extremely important. I will leave you with two verses that have helped me through.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13
“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy!” ~John 16:16