Because I Never Want to Forget This

This morning when I was trying to wake The Middle Child up, he wouldn’t budge. I pulled the covers away just a bit in an attempt to wake him. When I did, I saw the silver watch laying next to him. It was my Grandpa’s favorite watch. The day after he died, my Grandma gave it to Ethan because my Grandpa had said when he died, he wanted him to have it.
“Ethan” I whispered. “Why is Opa’s watch in your bed, sweetie?” I asked him. He turned towards me, slowly opened his eyes and said “because I was missing him so much last night. I wanted to feel close to him.”
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It’s those little moments that are incredibly hard to process. Trying to help my children deal with their loss and sadness and my own at the same time. As a mother, you never want to see your children in pain– physical or emotional. But it’s especially hard to deal with when there’s nothing you can do to lessen the pain that they feel.
I am trying my best– I listen when he needs me to. I reassure him that Opa knew how much he loved him. I tell him that some day it won’t hurt as bad as it does in this moment. I hold him close when he needs to cry and I give him space when he needs to be alone. I can only hope that I’m doing right by him in helping him through his grief.

33 thoughts on “Because I Never Want to Forget This

  1. Karla

    You’re doing a good job being supportive. I’m really sorry for you and your families loss. Children remember the time you spend with them explaining things that are hard for them to process. I think you are doing a good job of that. He’ll remember that when he’s a man and has his own children.

  2. heather

    I think you’re doing a wonderful job. It is a huge deal for him to be so aware of his grief like this and to know what to do about it! You should be proud.

  3. Bill

    It sounds like you’re doing it just right. Make sure you let people know when YOU need to be listened to and held too.

  4. christine Gill

    that is a beautiful moment… and i think you are doing just great. He’s around the same age as my Callum, right? cal’s 11 and lately he has so many questions about his little bro that he never knew and i think, why does he even miss him, he never met him… but i think this age kids are so puzzled about it all… how much more is ethan gonna be missing his grandpa who’s always been there. poor hun : (

  5. Janette105

    Mine’s a Hawaiian shirt that he absolutely adored. It’s been almost 10 years and I still miss my little Grampy. It does get easier. You’re such a fabulous Mom!

  6. kat

    I was just shy of 30 when my Grandma died, and I wore her favorite perfume every day for probably almost a year, for the same reason Ethan slept with his Opa’s watch.
    It’s been almost 2.5 years since she passed, and I still cannot use her tea cozy, because then it might stop smelling like her house.
    I promise it gets easier, but it never sucks any less. Give that sweet boy an extra hug for me.

  7. baseballmom

    Yep-you’re doing exactly what you should, and following your instincts! I’ve found if I bug my two about talking about it, they clam up and act like I’m being ridiculous, so I have to step back. Hang in there, and do your best.

  8. Gigi

    You’re doing an excellent job as a mom. More often than not, some moms try to “mask” the pain – by talking all the time.
    Listening and not saying anything at all, works wonders.

  9. mnroomom

    This post made me teary. I’ve been missing my own grandfather. He died in June this year. And tonight, one of my 2 yr old twins made sure he wasn’t forgotten in our nightly prayers. We prayed for my widowed grandmother and she piped up, “Grandpa, too!”. I’m blessed that my girls, even at their young age, remember him. He was worth remembering. As is your Opa. Blessings to you as you heal.

  10. Jackie

    Man, if that doesn’t get you… you have a heart of stone. It’s amazing that you have a boy who can express himself like that. What a great little guy.

  11. lindsayc

    This post made me tear up. I lost my Grandpa when I was 12 – loved him so very much. I can only imagine that having lost a Great Opa would hurt very much, esp. knowing what a loving relationship that you had with him. Time will help and using the watch as a metaphor might help?

  12. Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry

    Explaining grief to my children is among the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Keep your line of communication open with them and encourage questions. They are so lucky to be close to you and feel so comfortable talking with you.
    You are doing a great job. Continuing grieving, that’s exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.

  13. Kim j

    The absolutely hardest thing is watching your child grieve. I wish I could give you the magic answer to his questions. Its so hard, especially when you are grieving right along with them. We all do the best we can.
    My son who lost his brother (twin brother) still grieves and it tears me up. I know how bad I feel, so when i imagine what it does to him, well lets just say i hold it together for him, but the minute I walk away I’m a mess.
    We love the one we lost and we love our children. We do what we think is right to help them. Like you I listen, hug, let him cry and listen some more. Whatever it takes. Your doing the best you can and I feel for you.

  14. crookedeyebrow

    What a touching moment for you both and I do hope that with time it gets easier for you all. Keep thinking of allthe happy moments you were able to capture with him.

  15. marjorie

    You are doing exactly the right thing. You are there, listening and being supportive. I know it’s hard though. When I was 14, two of my good friends were killed in a car accident. What I remember most was how my parents, especially my mom, helped me get through it. Mom took me to the cemetary to place some flowers by the grave. She listened to me, and she let me grieve in my own way. And she knew I would move on (but not forget) in my own time. Hang in there, Y. My prayers are with you.

  16. patois

    We’re just getting into the throes of this over here. I thought of you when I first heard that my husband’s beloved uncle — really, the man who raised him — died yesterday. Having the kids around make me somehow stronger. He lives in them, I guess.
    My continued thoughts and prayers for you and yours.

  17. SheilaG

    That’s so sweet! Kids need to process their grief, not be told “there, there”, so that’s good to let him feel it.
    We had a baby who died a few years ago and my daughters still get teary frequently. They need to talk about it, too, and they both have pictures of their brother in their room. The one thing we’ve always done is keep talking about it whenever they want, because some families get so scared of grief that they just never bring up the person who died again.
    I think that we have to let them talk, even if they were too young to really know the person. They still feel that connection and still know they’ve lost someone. So good for you.
    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  18. sassy

    That’s sad yet beautiful at the same time. I am glad he has the watch…you know he holds his Opa in his heart but he has something tangible to hold as well. You have a really special family.

  19. Jaci

    I wanted to tell you how much your posts about your grandfather has helped me. Tuesday I was holding my grandmothers hand as she took her last breath. I was the closest grandchild, and both of my grandparents are more like my parents to me. To know someone was going through the same thing and to read your words are helping me a lot. Just to rememeber that she is in a better place where she can breath and be with her son is making it not quite as hard. So thank you for sharing with us like you do, you have really touched and helped me.

  20. Looking Glass Jewels

    Oh, Y. My Grandpa had a watch just like that and it sent a jolt through me to see it on your post. I miss him EVERYDAY and some of the few items I now own that were his are so very precious to me. They help me to feel closer to him, too.

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