I remember being eight or nine when my mother came walking down the stairs of our house, crying uncontrollably. This was the first time I had ever seen mom cry like this.
"What's wrong mommy?" I asked
"It's Grampa" she sobbed, "He is gone!"
How could this be? He is so big, and strong — a carpenter!
My young mind could not wrap the thought of his death around my little nine year old world. I thought that people we love lived forever....
This was the beginning of my acquaintance with loss.....or learning loss....what it is, what it feels like.
Last week, for the first time, my boys were faced with "learning loss"....
A special woman in our lives, that we have grown close to over the past few years, that my boys and I were especially fond of for many, many reasons...passed away early Wednesday morning.
I had taken the boys to see her the week before, knowing maybe for the last time, and although not many words were spoken, just being there was special for us all. I could feel their sadness and their realization resinating throughout the room as we sat quietly, together with her.
It was hard for me, as a mom, to watch them try to wrap their little minds around the concept of death....of saying goodbye forever.
The questions....why? what now? what's heaven like? How will she get there?
How will she know we miss her?.....
Some of the answers to these questions will be found down the road, as my boys weave their way through life, growing into young men and searching for clarity in their hearts and souls. They will find these answers within themselves, in what they believe in and through the learning of loss.
The lessons we learn from losing a loved one — whether a family member or friend, and no matter what age we are when it happens — are life changing.