Sunday, 24 March 2013

Saying Good-Bye to Grampie

Just thought I would pop in for a little writing therapy and share some of the goings on around here. Excuse the lack of pics and anything fancy as I am away from home for a bit and didn't bring my cartel of office extras ..... just me, my laptop and a story.

We are currently in the Annapolis Valley visiting loved ones after a death in our family. My husband's father was diagnosed with leukemia in September of 2012. After fighting through the first round of Chemo, he returned home for Christmas with us and slowly regained strength. But just a few days ago we were informed the cancer had returned. The doctors did all that they could, but there was nothing else they could do to battle this horrible disease. We were packing our bags when we received the call that he had passed away on March 21, 2013.

So now we have gathered with our family and friends to mourn his passing, but also to celebrate his amazing life. A cherished husband, father to 3 boys, grandfather to 9 grandchildren, son, brother, uncle, cousin, coach, community member. He will be dearly missed.

This heartbreaking time for our family has been a true testament of strength. I find that with each passing day it becomes easier to recall fond memories of our time together without the sadness. Our hearts ache with loss while our minds make plans for the future. Dealing with the loss of a loved one helps you gain stronger appreciation for those who are still here with us on this journey.

We have lost a number of great grandparents, great aunts/uncles since my husband and I have come together as a family. Our children have suffered these losses with us, but being at such young age, they have very little understanding of the meaning of death. This is the first extremely close family member that they have lost, and are handling the news of Grampie's passing well so far. My husband and I have decided that they will all attend the funeral which will be their first. I am sure there will be plenty of questions and tears on this day and the days that follow.  

Informing the kids of their Grampie's death has by far been the most "grown-up" thing that we have had to do as parents. Letting them know the details, but not too much. Keeping the information simple for them to understand. Ensuring them everyone else they love is safe and healthy. Letting them know that it is ok to cry and to ask questions. Letting them know that they are not alone, that many other children, and even their Mommy and Daddy have lost loved ones at their age.

We have a few days to wait until the funeral as we wait for family members to return home. These days have been the hardest as we yearn for closure. Family, neighbours and friends have spent endless hours here with us sharing fond memories and stories, loading our bellies with delicious food and filling our hearts with love and prayers.

It is at times like this that I am so thankful we were raised in such a glorious community.  And even though we used to complain that there was nothing to do in this small town, I am proud that we still call this "home." There is a fine line between friends and family and everyone knows your name. We are starting to sound like a country song here, but I like it that way.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and blessings. And please cherish those that are traveling through this life with you. Each day is a gift, live it to the fullest.

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