Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Stages of Life

When you hit your twenties, things begin to change. Suddenly, life events you longed for and dreaded come to pass. In many ways - there's an excitement and anticipation. At twenty, you feel like a true adult, not just legal in the eyes of the law (though maturity may or not be in supply). Then comes twenty-one and twenty-two, etc.

Your friends start getting married
You finish your education
Then come the babies.
A career

I can almost mark my life stage by what my friends are posting on Facebook.

But among the engagement, graduation, wedding and baby pictures, there's the occasional post that I react to or like because it's important,, but don't always resonate with.

I remember when one of my friends posted about the death of their grandpa. I remember thinking, "Oh, that's so sad." But the real weight didn't hit me until I received a text this afternoon.

"Gramma is with Jesus," it read.

I sat back in my chair and ugly-cried.

When someone who has lived a full life (marriage, kids, grandkids, retirement) dies, often you see it coming - their health declines, they become housebound, move to a care facility or hospice comes. You prepare yourself, knowing time is short.

But when that text came... the air wooshed out of my chest and I just felt empty.

Behind the person that was my Grandma are dozens of memories with my cousins - museums, tea parties, plays, dress up. I said goodbye to those when we got her diagnosis, but the finality of that text  just broke my heart. She's really gone...

Oh, to all of my friends who lost a grandparent recently, my heart breaks for you - it's so much more than the token sentimental picture posted to mark their passing... it's an ache that wasn't there before, and an empty place in the family.

It's knowing your future children will never know this person who mattered so much.

It's smiling when you think of all the stories you'll have to tell.

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