Mourning a Loss

With my sister #3 of 6, E and L

My grandmother passed away on Wednesday evening.  Y’all may remember seeing her in photos.  We tried to visit my grandparents as often as we could.  For a long time, I took it for granted that I had both sets of grandparents alive and thriving for such a long time, getting to see them as much as I did, and not thinking what it would be like when they were gone.  Well, after my dad’s parents (Mimi and Pop to us) passed away, I tried to make more of an effort to spend quality time with my mother’s parents.  And I wanted my children to too.  I know how happy it made my grandparents for the children to visit.  They would seriously call after we arrived back home, the same day, and thank us for making the hour and a half trip to visit.  I still even remember my great-grandparents, and I’m thankful for that.  One of the advantages of being the oldest is getting to know my great grandparents and grandparents longer than others.  What a blessing!  I just hope that I can remember and share their stories with my children, that will pass them on to my children’s children someday.

I think all of us are saying prayers that little W will remember her wonderful grandmother in all her glory, and have memories to cherish, from her visits with her.  My grandmother loved children, that was obvious.  Even the young children on their street, who probably had grandparents of their own, came to visit my grandparents often.  They were cool…well, and they gave them candy.  A little bribery didn’t hurt anyone.  And yesterday, when many of them came to visit, bringing food over for my grandfather, one of the 11-year old neighbors told my grandfather, “We’ll make it through this, together.”

Seriously though, what cooler grandparents can navigate a cell phone, and receive photo texts!  The funny thing is that you knew when you sent a photo text to them, you’d be getting a call thanking us for the photo, or to talk about it, as soon as you sent it.  Growing up, my grandparents used to record our phone calls, when we would call them and wish them happy birthday or Merry Christmas.  We didn’t realize this until a few years ago, when one of my sisters went to visit, and they played back some of the tapes for her.  I’m sure some of those recordings are hilarious…my sisters and I fighting on the phone, whose turn it was to talk, the times when we probably didn’t even want to talk, etc.

The girls loved visiting my grandparents, often asking when we’d see them next.  I know it brightened my grandparents’ day to see them, too.  They’ll still visit my grandfather, sing songs, chow down on chocolate and cheese straws, but there will clearly be an absence there.  I prepared W for this, but I know she and E will still ask where she is, and we’ll have to remind them each time for awhile.  And that’s okay, just a little sad.

My grandmother had been sick, and was getting weaker, but I don’t think we expected it to be this soon that the Lord would take her from this world.  Praise the Lord she is in heaven now, breathing with a brand new set of fresh lungs and completely healed.  That is the blessing, the grieving is in my grandfather and his children (my mother included) and all of our extended family.  My grandparents were married for 57 years, and rarely left each other’s side.  In my grandfather’s words to me, “You lost an amazing grandmother, and I lost my best friend.”  Tomorrow we will celebrate my grandmother’s life and grieve together.

W is expecting the tears at the funeral and knows that her great grandmother is in heaven.  I told her that everyone will be glad she’s in heaven, because she’ll be with the Lord and is healed, but many of us will be crying because we’re going to miss her here on Earth.  I showed her photos of her yesterday, from many of our visits, and explained that she’s not here anymore, and that she’s in heaven…with Mimi and Pop, Toby (my family’s dog growing up), Cabo (a classmate’s family dog) and Jesus.  Children have such an innocence, yet know much more than us adults expect.  W explained to me that my grandmother won’t know how to fly, so Jesus will have to help her fly up to heaven.  And that Jesus will wash her feet when she gets there.  And my tears starting flowing when she said, “Can I go to heaven?  I want to go to heaven, too.”

My grandmother will be truly missed, but her legacy will live on through her four children, her eleven grandchildren, and her ten great-grandchildren.  My E was named after my grandmother, as well.  Now, it will have an even extra special meaning.

Her last six months with us…

This photo was from our last visit a couple of weeks ago, visiting both of my grandparents together.  My youngest sister visited with us on this trip, too.  When we were leaving, my sister witnessed W telling my grandmother goodbye.  Without any prompting, she held my grandmother’s hand and kissed it.  I’ve never seen her do this to anyone else before, or since then.  It’s as if she knew.
We’ll miss you, Mama E!
Love, Ash

36 thoughts on “Mourning a Loss

  1. I teared up when reading this post, it was absolutely beautiful and I find it so wonderful how close your family is. I am so so sorry for your loss, your family will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. This post is such a wonderful tribute to your Grandmother. She sounds like a remarkable woman. I am so glad that all of your little ones were able to spend some time with her. Those photos you have posted capture such unending love.

    Thinking of you!

  3. So sorry for your loss. Hold on to the precious memories and write them down for your children as they come to mind. Saying a prayer for your family.

  4. Sending and thoughts and prayers to you and all of your family. What an amazing story this was about your grandmother! May you all feel the comfort of God during this time!

  5. This is a beautiful post Ashley. I was just telling my mom last night how sad I am that 3 of my 4 grandparents will never know the man I marry or my children. I will miss them so much during these moments in my future. I am so glad how you always brought your children to see them. That meant so much to her. Love you and I'll see you soon.

  6. Im very sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in your prayers. This post about your Granmother/granparents is so sweet and I know she would of loved it.

  7. I am so sorry for your family's loss. Your children are so lucky to have these pictures and you to help them remember their times with your grandmother. Thinking of all of you during this difficult time.

  8. So sorry for your loss – how wonderful that your little ones had a chance to meet their great-grandmother. Memories to cherish, that's for sure.

  9. Oh no. I'm terribly sorry for your loss. Losing someone so close is never easy, it's wonderful you were able to get all the photos and memories of your girls with her – time is precious.

    Xo, jess

  10. Oh my goodness…I am so sorry. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. This is such a tough time as a parent– to be strong enough to explain the circumstances with out falling completely apart. I know it all too well. Stay strong

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. I still have 3 out of my 4 grandparents and I'm almost 40…I even had my great grandmother until I was married at 23. My grandfather is fighting a very bad, antibiotic resistant infection (post-op) and I have been praying to the good Lord that he won't take him from us just yet. He's a few months shy of his 90th birthday and in all other ways, doing relatively well. I know what a void you will have without your grandmother, but you, your sisters, and your daughters will carry on her legacy as true southern ladies who embody grace and poise. God bless you & your family during this difficult period ~ time heals… Warmest regards,from one Ashley to another, Ashley (from Miami, FL)

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the saddness that you are currently faced with. I am almost 40, and still have 3 out of 4 grandparents. I even had my great-grandmother still living when I got married at the age of 23. I have been blessed. My grandfather is fighting a terrible antibiotic-resistant infection (post-op) at the moment and I have been fervently praying to the good Lord that He doesn't take him from us…just yet. He is just a few months shy of his 90th b-day and is doing relatively well, otherwise. What a blessing for you to have such special memories of your grandmother, and an even bigger gift that your children got to know her. Her legacy will live on in your mother, you and your sisters, and ultimately in your daughters. You embody such poise and grace that is evident in Southern women. I wish you peace & comfort in the days ahead…time heals. Warmest regards, from one Ashley to another, Ashley Cueto (Miami, FL)

  13. aaawwww….you definitely brought tears to my eyes…i am so sorry to hear about your grandmother….this is such a lovely tribute to your grandmother…

    you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers…

  14. Dear Ashley,
    Everyone should have grandparents their whole lives. They only see perfection. You and your family are blessed to have had such wonderful relationships, over the years. A prayer is being sent up and I'm sure a bell is ringing…she will have her wings and know how to fly.

    Warmest regards, Kathleen

  15. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. This was such a lovely post and I'm certain when your kids grow up they'll be able to look back on past posts and think of their grandparents fondly. Keeping you and your family in my prayers!

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