Lately I've been reading facebook updates from some young family members. Tween and teen girls that express a missing of their grandpa (my uncle) who passed away a few years ago now. It breaks my heart to read between the lines of how we all struggle with loss of a close loved one. It doesn't get easy at whatever age you are. But I especially want to share with these young girls a few thoughts of my own...things that I have learned along my 40 year path about life and death.
You see, when I was 8 I lost my mom. It took a few years before it really hit me and how much I missed her. Unfortunately, I didn't know then what I know today so I was one of those girls that made poor choices and searched hi and lo for who she was. I wondered if it would be easier if I had my mom to talk to - like I talk to my 11 year old daughter now and see how gracefully she is growing up.
In my 20's I went through loss again with my grandmother. She was an amazing woman! She taught me most of the craftiness that I am today. I spent summers and holiday breaks with her because I was the girl of the family and my dad knew I needed to have a woman figure to spend time with. My grandmother and I would sit and crochet, play Uno, sew and just talk. She "knew" me and now I think back and I now "know" her, too. She was so much love, she was so graceful and kind and generous. It was so easy for her.
When I got that phone call, I collapsed. She missed many Big Moments of my life! Getting married, my babies... But I know and I feel now that as I morned for so many years this missing...she was and is always there. I have allowed myself to be open to her presence, my mothers presence and also my dear friend Jill's presence who was gone at such a early age.
They are with me and I hear them cheering and encouraging me on. What I do each day in my life I don't just do for myself. I do it for my children...I do it for the women in my life who didn't have the courage, the time, the chance to do it. So if I could give advise to these young girls it would be this... in your quiet time, stop, close your eyes, breathe and open your heart to your Pop Pop. He's right there with you. Feel his hugs. Feel his warmth. See his smile. Hear his words. He wants "his girls" to live their lives happy, full of love and learning all along the way. Imagine him blowing you kisses from heaven. Imagine him when you are faced with uncertainty what would he tell you to do. He is there...just open your heart and mind.
It's ironic, because just this past weekend my dad was here (my uncle was his little brother) and we were talking about him. It's even hard for a man at 76. But as a woman...as one who once was a young girl/woman wishing for my mom to be back - wishing for my grandmother's advise...it wasn't until bigger events that I realized how much they are with me. So open your heart, close your eyes and imagine all their love, support, encouragement and feel him close to your heart.
Hugs and kisses!
(your welcome Uncle Wally! Love you, too:)