Modified from a Facebook post on February 21, 2013
As a parent we experience our children’s joy, pride in their accomplishments, laugh at their antics, mend boo-boos when they hurt and wipe their tears when they cry. However, there is nothing more heart-wrenching to a parent than seeing the pain in their faces and knowing no matter how many hugs and kisses, some boo-boos don’t go away. Comforting words can’t even take away the pain and the parent has to trust that they have done their job in giving their children strength, courage, and bravery to get through a difficult time.
On February 21, 2013 I witnessed that my brothers, sister and I have done just that.
To my 6 Nephews and 1 Niece, my dad and step-mother’s grandchildren (the 8th way too young) there was no greater honor you could ever give your grandmother than the honor you gave her that day, carrying her to her final journey. I’m sure I speak for all your parents when I say I was very proud of you all that day. I know from experience that comforting words can never take the place of someone you love, and I won’t lie and say that hole in your heart will go away because it won’t.
But I can tell you from experience that as long as you hold her there, share her love and stories with your cousin and children who got so little time with her, and all the children still to come, she will never truly be gone. As you grow older, you will see her in your own children and grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Something will be said or done that will trigger a special memory and you will share it. Also know that you are loved both in heaven and on earth.
It has been 7 years since that day. I have witnessed 3 of you marry. 3 become parents. And 2 lose their mother. As I watch you continue to grow I see qualities of your grandmother in each of you. Her love of life, her commitment to community, her passion for making a child’s life better. Grandma is at peace, but her spirit will live on through all of you. Know that as a mom and aunt I will always be proud of you and will picture you that day, standing together. Never asked, never told, taking her casket in hand. The strength of your love for her and she for you gave you all the courage and bravery to walk that aisle heads held high and eyes dry. There will and already have been other times you will face the pain of losing someone, you have learned that it does not go away, but you have learned that no matter what, you need to keep living.