I feel like I was lucky.
When I was growing up, I dealt with my fair share and more of hard stuff. But not once do I remember attending a funeral. Death was not a part of my equation in a memorable sense. Both of my maternal grandparents died as well as my paternal grandmother either right before I was born or shortly after and therefore it wasn’t a huge heartache for me. From then on death didn’t really exist. Either my mom sheltered me from the funerals or else no one close enough to me died.
My kids haven’t been that lucky.
The death of the three year old from our town that died of cancer recently has been weighing heavy on the mind of little Teensy. On our trip to the cemetery for Mother’s Day, we discovered that his grave happens to be right below Geri and since I had previously explained that he was up in heaven talking to her now, this was a great coincidence. Teensy has now proclaimed many times that he and grandma are “neighbors”. But even with the assurance that her grandma is taking care of the little boy, she is still really saddened that he was taken away. She signed the sympathy card and then proceeded to make her own. Such a tender heated little soul.
This week marks the one year anniversary since the death of Geri, their much beloved grandma. Bubba has started to make progress in his counseling and Teensy just finished a full memory book in her counseling sessions. We have been doing okay, this family of mine. We have found ourselves a bit more comfortable with this new normal.
Two steps forward and ten steps back. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Last night there was a really bad car accident a few miles from our house. It consisted of one vehicle filled with a man and four children. I don’t have all the details but what I know is that they went over a bridge and the vehicle became engulfed in flames. The driver and a second grade boy died, two more children are in serious condition right now and one is in critical condition. It was the worst trauma that the nurses at the hospital have seen in quite some time.
The boy lived in our neighborhood. He spent time at my house and played with my kids. I had spoken with his mother on occasion and saw him at the school almost every day. Although he was no longer a friend to my son due to a stupid childhood falling out, it is still a place that is too close for comfort. Once again, reality has rocked the fairy tale world that my kids should live in.
I have yet to see the effects of this on my children. We have told them the new but they haven’t processed everything enough to give us a reaction. That will come later. In a few hours. For now, we are in denial that grim reaper has claimed another innocent being.
And that is where we will stay for that is the only way to make it through.
Any other week of the year…but not this one. Our wounds are already freshly torn open from the planning of a luncheon and memorial tree planting, so we could use a break from the extra despair for now.