I lost my grandmother a year ago, a woman who understood me and accepted me when others did not. She was a very strong woman, mentally and physically, until she was drained by lung cancer. Her death hit me harder than anything had in the past. I could no longer see her; I could no longer talk to her. Still, after a year, I cannot remove her phone number from my cell phone because it feels too final.
One of the first things I expressed to my family after her death was that she was supposed to be here to meet my future children. She wasn’t supposed to leave until I saw her hold my first child, at the very least. I wanted to have sheets of scrapbooked photos of her holding them and opportunities to recount those moments to my children, to tell them about their times together.
A few months after her death, my husband and I were blessed with the news of our first pregnancy. We were so close to having her there with us for it. The news of our pregnancy brought my mother to tears, and the words she spoke through her tears were of her first instinct being to call my grandmother to share the news, but she couldn’t.
Since that moment, we have had further tears and pain. My husband and I lost the child. We have also gone on to lose another since; all of these deaths hitting us in only a year. We have not had the opportunity to grieve for one loss before we are struck with another. My husband and I work to get through each day without any of these three people being near us.
The irony in the loss of my grandmother before the birth of any of my children is that she has been blessed with the opportunity to meet my children before I do. We wanted her to be there so badly to hold them, and she will hold them for long before my husband and I do. We didn’t understand why such a strong woman was taken from us when she was, and we are now blessed with the understanding that she is there for us, to be with our children while we can’t.
I believe that time is artful and wise. I have learned to be thankful for the time I have with those dear to me, because I truly don’t know what time I will get. I have learned that things occur in time for a reason, and while that reason may not be clear straightaway, I must learn to trust it.