Death To A Child: Speaking To Our Children & Remembering Grandma.
I will post in detail about handling the subject of death with your children, be it a family pet or a family member, over the weekend. Many parents have trouble facing this very tough topic, so I hope that post will help in some ways as I find it to be an extremely important one.
Today, 26 long but very short years ago, I lost my grandmother and had to face death head on, but had no idea how to. I wasn’t in any way, shape, or form, mentally prepared for a death inside of my family. She was the one I was closest to…then she was gone.
No one talked about life’s end with me, nor even mentioned the word death in my world until that fateful day. I use my own experience, and my severe denial and then breakdown to urge myself and others to always open up about the reality of death to kids before it happens, if at all possible.
It’s important for them to know that death is a fact of life. It isn’t a choice, but it also shouldn’t be feared. Most importantly, grief is a natural part of the loving then losing process, and needs to be felt, and NEVER denied.
My grandmother was an incredible woman who lived with me my whole life till 10 and 1/2 years of age. She bathed me, sang me to sleep, taught me songs on the organ, entertained all my little friends, hugged me and made me feel safe each and every day, while upstairs my parents fought and life seemed so impossibly hard and different. I barely remember life ‘upstairs’ before that point.
All of the sudden I found myself stuck in a life I wasn’t prepared to be thrown into. A better word would be forced into and 24-7. But in an instant had no choice but to be. I think it’s very important to mentally prepare kids early, and not in their pre-teens either. Children understand and can handle more then you can ever give them credit for.
An important lesson to live by in life. Children, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters…everybody!
Here is a poem to the woman I still look up to.. even after all of these years.
Love you grandma.
To My Grey-Haired Guardian Angel
I lost part of myself that cold March day,
A chunk of my heart had been blown away.
You were Mother and father, grandma, and friend,
You raised me from birth, and you left me at 10.
You were always there for me, you’d watch as I’d dance,
I could hear you applaud and say, ‘Do it again!’
You sang many songs I will never forget,
Not saying good-bye is my only regret.
You helped me believe in others and myself,
And built self-esteem that I found no place else.
We’d sit and have tea, play with dolls, and just then,
In a blink of an eye I lost you, my best friend.
We’d watch One Life To Live and you’d say, “Don’t tell mom.”
I’d fall asleep on your lap, and felt safe in your arms.
I never imagined you would leave me this way,
There were so many things I did not get to say.
The day that God took you, I drowned in denial,
Death didn’t sink in to this now lonely child.
So impossible to face, yet impossible to ignore,
I wouldn’t race down the stairs and find you anymore.
I lost part of my world on that blistery March day,
26 years gone by, and it still feels the same.
I wonder who I’d be now, if I hadn’t had you,
You made me all I am, and I’ll forever love you.
Copyright Shelly @ Twinpossible 2012
Written for a woman who inspired me and loved me more than any true mother even could have. I never felt that kind of security in my world ever again. Life turned ugly once she left mine, but I’ll always be thankful for the almost 11 years this amazing lady was in my home, in my world, and in my heart. I miss you grandma.
As promised, more on the subject of preparing your children for the inevitable losses in life, coming in a couple of days. Check back for that and have a wonderful Thursday!