I feel your pain

Recently I read a comment from someone on a blog post. The person said they’d never lost someone close to them. I thought, how is that even possible? They must be incredibly lucky.

I remember from a very young age the loss of family members and friends. I was never lucky enough not to know hurt. To this day, I can’t hear Amazing Grace or How Great Thou Art without tearing up. Both were sung/played at great grandparents and grandparent’s funerals among others.

Even when I was a tender 10 years old, I knew what death meant and what it did to people. My grandparents were killed in a car accident in February 1989 and it’s the little things I remember about that day and the days following that still have an impact on me. Grandpa Roy’s glasses folded on the console of the car. Grandmother’s personal effects. It was tough. I felt like I never got to know them.

I have the app Timehop on my phone and on April 3 it showed a photo of my grandparents. I stopped in my tracks and thought about that day with Mom and her sisters. Grandma Wetzel has been gone for 4 years now and never got to meet both of my children. I was pregnant with my first when she passed away. I shared the photo, but didn’t feel like explaining myself.

Just this week there have been deaths effecting both family and friends, while I’d only met one, it’s still sad to hear the passing of people who have had such an effect on others. I never know what to say, and despise the term, “They are in a better place,” or “They are with their maker.” While I know both of those things are true, the person saying them can do more by not saying them (at least to me). I have flashes to the scene in Steel Magnolias after the funeral and Daryl Hannah’s character Annelle told M’Lynn that Shelby is with her Father now. Every time I watch that scene I want to smack Annelle. The best thing I know to say is, “I’m thinking about you.”

My father-in-law has been gone for a couple of years now and I’ve posted about him before, but this year, I couldn’t remember his death again. I didn’t want to. Then, last week my oldest son said out of the blue, “Dad misses his dad.” I said, “I know, I do too.” He continued, “I wish my grandpa that died was still here. I miss him.” Out of the mouth of an almost 4-year-old, and he spoke the truth. I about cried. It’s hard, and it’s even harder when the young ones don’t understand.

Best we can do is remember them, and for me, photos are it.

Carol and Erna Wetzel on their wedding day, June 2, 1948.

Carol and Erna Wetzel on their wedding day, June 2, 1948.

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