Losing those we love is hard
There’s something so hugely important about a child’s relationship with their grandparents, they learn where the chocolate cupboard is from an early age and know that if Mummy and Daddy are not going to let down when they’re being a bit of a bugger then Grandma and Grandad will definitely be there with a cuddle or a biscuit. Peanut knows that at Grandma and Grandads house there’s more chocolate buttons than she could roll around in, there are fishies in the garden that need feeding and chickens across the road that she can dance with – all such special little things she does with her grandparents that she’ll grow up to treasure and remember for the rest of her life. We’ve all got those kinds of memories and they’re priceless.
But their relationship with their great-grandparents is often something that most of us never have the chance to experience. Peanut was in utero when two of her Great Nannas died, and shortly after she was born, her Great-Grandma died. This month, we lost Peanuts Great-Grandad and as can be expected, it was a very sad occasion. She was very special to him and he often called her his ‘little Katie’. We’d go round to visit and she would be crawling round the house and eventually walking, looking at all of the ornaments, little knick-knacks and staring at the kind man in the comfy chair cooing at her lovingly. She’s 18 months old now and whether she’ll remember her time with him when she’s older isn’t something we’ll know about until she reaches the age where she can remember his face in photographs. His house is being cleared out at the moment and the majority of his assets being sold off – it’s quite heartbreaking to think about how most traces of this wonderful man will soon be gone and used in other homes by other people; being turned into new memories for other families to create and treasure.
But I didn’t want this to be a sad blog post about how we miss him, I wanted to write it to encourage people to enjoy the time they have with loved ones. We’ve experienced a huge amount of loss before and after Peanut came into our life and it’s amazing to see how this one little person can have such a profound effect on a family of mourners. With each funeral there’s been such an air of positivity when the babies have been mentioned and this time, they had a very important job to do; I can imagine quite a daunting one if they hadn’t been too young to realise. Along with her baby cousin, Peanut came through from nursery to meet a large room of black clothing and it was as if the sun had started to shine on what was a very dull and rainy day. Smiles all around for these two beautiful little girls on such a sad occasion was a perfect reminder that life goes on and it’s worth living to the full. You can’t underestimate the power a child can have on a world full of sadness, and how they can shift a mood just by simply existing.
I remember my own Nanna’s funeral when I was about 7 months pregnant and one point in the service that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. The celebrant was telling us all about how every one of us is made from stardust, and when we die we return that stardust to the world we borrowed it from, for it to become something else; living and incredible. I’ll tell Peanut this when she’s older so that when we sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, we’ll be singing it for those very special stars in the sky.