Valentine’s Day. A day usually filled with hearts, flowers, chocolate, wine and love. We did all that (well except for the wine. I’m still nursing). My preschool kids filled their cute little friends baskets at school with Spiderman tattoos and brought back a bunch more
crud V-day love. My top 3 oldest went to a gymnastics night party where they played, ate pizza, decorated cookies and enjoyed some independence. It was fun for all.
And sometimes Valentine’s day is filled with the memory of love. Or rather loved ones. On friday my maternal grandmother passed away suddenly. On Thursday I will say my final good-bye. My grandmother and I have had a confusing but relatively pleasant relationship and therefore my feelings are complex and sometimes unsettling. I’ve never really experienced death before. It’s always been a human condition that has thus far only happened to other people. For being as old as I am, some might call me lucky.
My brain understands that this is the unfortunate cycle of life, yet my heart is surprisingly heavy. The sadness has a weight to it. As soon as my mother shared the broken-hearted news, my chest took on an extra 25 pounds. This phenomenon is real and is the stuff of sad love songs.
There are few moments in parent-dom that are harder then telling your kids that someone in their lives have died, but here we are in the thick of this lesson. My kids are all young, but I was still surprised at how this news slid off their backs like water on a duck. In some respect, it is a blessing that this information has not hurt them. However, it might be a different story when we see family and the strong grown ups in their lives are sad and perhaps crying. We shall see.
Death brings a great teaching tool to point them to the Father. After discussing that their great-grandmother would be renewed and have a new body, Mini Man thought very practically and asked if she would no longer have any spots (she had many bruises due to the many years of dialysis treatments). These thoughts made sense to him and he became visibly happier at the thought.
Now Valentine’s Day will be a lesson in love. All love. Past, Present and Future love.