Grief often invades without warning. This was my experience several nights ago, as I drifted off to sleep. Suddenly, my mind was reliving the night my father-in-law, Bob, passed away. Every detail as clear as that night, over three years ago. The tears began to flow.
Why are these thoughts appearing now? Upcoming graduations. Bob was so proud of his grandkids. And graduations were a big deal! Not something he would ever miss.
Ryan, the youngest, graduates high school in less than two weeks. Bob would be smiling, telling his friends about Ryan’s creative artwork and college plans.
Rachel, the youngest granddaughter, graduates college at the same time. Bob would certainly brag to his friends, “You remember my granddaughter, Rachel? She already has a teaching job for next year!”
His absence will be felt when each of them walks across the stage. I wish he was here. Such is the nature of grief.
This will not be a one-time experience. Future events will most assuredly bring similar emotions. Yet, we must continue to celebrate. Celebrate the present while remembering the past. Remembering the love of a Papa who would do absolutely anything for his grandkids.
Our whole family is missing Papa. And it’s okay to say it out loud. Saying it out loud brings us closer together. It helps us remember how much he loved us and how much we love him.