On Friday night my husband’s grandmother died.
The next morning our boys crawled into bed beside me and for a few sweet moments there was silence. Then, quietly, I told them.
Their faces said all the things they don’t have words for. Big emotions swirled wordlessly behind little, soulful eyes.
It’s just a word to them for now.
It won’t mean much at first. Death only gains currency when you begin to realise what loss really means.
For now loss is just a misplaced precious DVD or a toy stashed somewhere, its whereabouts momentarily forgotten. They feel it keenly but it’s a fleeting moment of sparky angst that vanishes when the wanted item reappears, which it invariably does, eventually. They don’t yet know the longevity of loss. They just know that it makes them miss their Daddy all the more, and together we re-counted how many more sleeps until he comes home from visiting Great Big Gran.
This morning my mind is on the legacy this beloved great-grandmother leaves behind her. The ripples of character and personality that never would have been, were it not for her. Remarkable.
And what an honour it must be to live long enough to see your influence – in genes and smiles and interests – living on.
And live on they will, present every day in little ones who already feel they miss her, without yet really knowing what that means.
At times like this – well actually, at ANY time in our house – we can usually find a word of wisdom from the venerable Albus Dumbledore that helps sum up the things that small boys sense but can’t explain.
In Dumbledore’s own words:
“To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
I think Great Big Gran would heartily approve of that.