My dearest Grandpa Pexa passed away very early yesterday morning.
I am heartsick. We all are. He left a mark on everyone he’s ever met. Not only did I have the great fortune to have him as such a big part of my life for so long, but so did my kids. Grandpa was a beautiful gift to all of us.
Now, as I try to wrap my head around life without Grandpa in it, Anna has become one of my wisest advisors.
With all that has been going on these last few months, we’ve been talking about death around our house much more than I’d like. Despite Great-Grandpa’s miraculous recovery in May, he went downhill again rather quickly. I knew I had to tell the kids that he wasn’t doing well. That this might indeed be Great-Grandpa’s time to die.
As we talked about this last week, before I could even finish my sentence, Anna chimed in “Yup, we won’t see Great-Grandpa anymore and we’ll be really, really, really sad, but he’ll be an angel all around us.”
Wednesday evening, in the hours before Grandpa died, as a few of us sat around his bed telling stories, laughing and crying, and just being with him, my dad told this story….
Henry and Anna had a sleepover at my mom and dad’s a few weekends ago. In the evening, they all went to visit Great-Grandpa. Shortly after arriving, Anna went over to his bedside and asked,
“Great-Grandpa, when are you going to die?”
Thankfully, Great-Grandpa didn’t quite hear her. “What did you say, Anna?”
Grandpa Tom quickly jumped in to save the day, “She said, when are you going to cry?” Of course, Great-Grandpa assured Anna that he wasn’t going to cry. “Oh no Anna, I am so happy.”
But Anna insisted.
“No Great-Grandpa. Not cry. Die, DIE! When are you going to die???”
That’s my Anna. She just not one to mince any words or sugar-coat. At least not at this point in her young years. For her, life is life. And death is death. And Great-Grandpa's love is what we've had a whole lot of for such a very long time.....
Yesterday, after the blessing of being with Grandpa as he passed from this life to the next, I came home and caught a few hours of sleep. When the kids woke up, I dreaded it, but knew I needed to share the news. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
After lots of hugs and tears with my dear ones, Anna sat up straight, looked right at me and said “Mama, we won’t see Great-Grandpa anymore with our eyes, but we will see him with our heart.”
Oh my sweet girl.
And she is exactly right.
It’s just that our hearts will be broken for quite some time….