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May 22


Grief is an odd thing, for me.  I’ve had limited experience with it, thank God, but there are really only two losses that still have the ability to sneak up on me.  I’ll be bopping along, and suddenly I’m teary-eyed and have to go away somewhere where I can be alone to mourn.

One is the miscarriage I had before I got pregnant with Jessica, and the other one is my grandfather.

He died on a summer day not unlike today.  It was six years ago, he died when Julie was an infant, so I’ve always got a reminder of exactly how long it’s been.  But at the Memorial Day concert today at Jessie’s school (she plays the flute), the focus was on our veterans, and Memorial Day.  The speaker asked that our WWII veterans stand for a round of applause, and three or four older men stood up.

It wasn’t that they looked like my grandfather, I couldn’t even really see much more than the back of their heads (I had gotten there late and was in the back of the auditorium).  But it hit me suddenly that my grandfather was gone, my veteran wasn’t there, and all at once I missed him so much I started crying and had to leave.

I don’t think that I deal with grief all that well.  Or at least, I recognize that probably not a healthy way of handling it.  I don’t actually acknowledge that he’s dead all that often.  I think of him as traveling, over in Europe perhaps. Somewhere far away, where he’s happy and loving it, with my grandmother.  But sometimes I have to face the face that he’s gone, he’s not traveling, looking for adventure and sending back postcards.  Sometimes, like today, I realize all over again that he’s gone, and I miss him so much.

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