I wrote about the loss of our beloved Nana in November. I am still shocked at times when I realize I can’t text her or her call me and say “Hi, Girlfriend.” That’s always what she said when I answered. Grief for me as an atheist seems to be different then my grief was as a christian. It’s a bit tough to explain, but it’s like I understand the finality of it better as a non-believer and with that I can accept it better. I can accept that I will never see her again and while that saddens me, I don’t worry about where she might have gone and what she might be doing and if she’s watching over me. So on and so forth. All the things I wondered as a christian.
Watching my children experiance a loss such as this was hard, but I was surprised and proud that they really understood what was going on and what had happened. I’m of the opinion that we should not hide things from our children such as this. We were very upfront about what was going on and they asked almost daily how she was while she was hospitalized. We took them to see her before she fell so ill, while she was in the hospital, and we took them after she was basically comatose. I feel by being involved ,from a distance, helped them understand as it progressed that it was a very real possibility that Nana would not make it out of the hospital alive. We were hopeful and shared that with them, but when we could see that she was not going to recover, we shared that with them as well. One of my children deals by talking about Nana and the other prefers to not, though he realizes that others may need to talk about her to heal.
To add insult to injury a week after Nana died, K2’s kitty sneaked out of the house and got ran over. This was a kitty that Nana had bought him for his birthday, just 4 months prior. He took that pretty hard. He is the one who is more quiet about his grief over Nana and I think he might have or is currently hiding his sorrow about Nana behind his devastation of his kitty. We waited awhile and then added a new kitten to our family just before Christmas. She is one of the sweetest and silliest kittens I have ever seen. Loves to play with craft pom poms and drink running water out of the sink, which has cause a bit of a problem as I don’t really like the cats getting on the counter.
October was filled with worry for Nana and her future. November was filled with death and sorrow over the loss of Nana and Scout(the cat). December was spent realizing that last Christmas was the last with Nana and navigating relationships with other family members that hopefully are on some kind of mend. We also celebrated our anniversary of being married 17 years in December. Normally Nana would have watched the boys, this time we had to take them with us. We had scheduled a week before with my sister to watch them, but an ice storm messed those plans up.
Though we have our moments, each of us a different times it seems in our grief, I can honestly say we are doing ok. The kids only speak of the wonderful memories they have of her. When someone mentions that Nana is in Heaven watching over them, they have both said, no she’s in a box in mom and dad’s closet. That is the truth. She is in a box in our closet as she chose to be cremated. The answer to that is always “oh.”
And life goes on.