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12 years ago, the day after his 58th birthday, my father-in-law succumbed to a 2 year long battle with lung cancer. Our first child was born 4 years later and our second 6 years after his death. Perhaps because my husband and I have consciously made an effort to talk about "Grosspapi", or perhaps because of a deeper reason we don't understand, the kids talk about and miss their Grandpa as if they had actually known him. They know he was a talented woodworker who made beautiful toys for their Dad and Uncle. They also know he is here in spirit, in our hearts and thoughts, and they have had moments of literally feeling his energy with us.
Before my Mom passed on this year, when the kids had moments of sadness about not having their Grandpa here, I used to try to make them feel better by telling them that he is here with us in spirit. My rational mind thought that this would be a source of comfort and consolation. But, my very wise then 4 yr old put me in my place with the simplest and yet most profound proclamation.
She told me that Grosspapi may be here in spirit, but "a spirit can't build me a dollhouse".
Touché little girl, touché.
Whenever people try to comfort me with the fact that my Mom is with me in spirit, I am always reminded of this dollhouse story. It is somewhat comforting to feel she is with me, and yet it is night and day to what was before. As her soul has transitioned to the spirit world, mine needs time to get used to no longer having her hand literally in mine.
Sometimes we don't need consolation or comfort, we just need the freedom to feel, for space to be held for our full range of completely normal human emotions.
Originally written June 11, 2017:
Mom today I miss you so damn much.
I just want to feel your loving touch.
To call you up on the telephone.
To feel that I am not all alone.
To send you pics of the kids by text.
To plan when we will see each other next.
To talk about everything and nothing at all.
To say bye 10 times before ending a call.
To know there's someone who really sees me.
To be with someone who makes laughing so easy.
Mom, while I feel you with me all the time,
It will never match the feeling of your hand in mine.
Mom, I love you so, so much. Love always, Michelle
Michelle Borner, a mom on 23 missions, blogs about her Deep Thoughts on a wide range of topics from parenting to conscious living to lessons from brain cancer.
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