As Christmas is fast approaching it’s got me thinking about how excited I am to have family around to share in Ella’s very first. But it’s also got me thinking a lot about loved ones that are no longer here. In particular Mr L’s father, Henry.
Henry tragically passed away two weeks after our marriage in 2014. It’s been a long journey dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, a journey that I don’t think will ever come to a complete stop. It’s become ever more poignant since we knew we were expecting a baby.
Since Ella’s birth there have been many moments that I wish we could have shared with her Grandad Henry. There have been bitter sweet tears on several occasions & always that niggling feeling that someone is missing. I think this will continue through out her life as we rejoice at every new milestone she reaches.
Although she is too young to understand I want her to grow up knowing that she has two Grandads; it’s just that one isn’t here anymore.
We (mainly I) sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Grandad Henry on his birthday, we will wish him a Merry Christmas, Ella has been to visit him & will continue to do so through out her life. I want her to be proud of the man he was & how much he is loved & missed by many people. I want her to see a tractor & say “Grandad Henry used to drive on of those, didn’t he Mummy.”
As she grows and spots similarities between family members such as my mother & I, Ella will learn that both her & Mr L gain certain traits from Henry. I also want her to learn the funny little stories we all tell time & time again about the things Henry used to get up to.
I want her to appreciate that the reason Mummy can stay at home with her & why we have nice things is because Grandad Henry worked very, very hard while he was alive. But I also want her to know that we would rather have Grandad Henry.
I’m going to teach Ella that Grandad Henry is a star in the sky, keeping watch on all of us to make sure we’re okay. It’s up to her if religion comes into this or not. In some ways I hope that in keeping Henry’s memory alive we will teach Ella that death is part of life. I want her to understand why people die in hope that it will make the pain easier to bear in the future.
Of course I want her to know all of these things about all of her Grandparents, but the responsibility of keeping Henry a part of Ella’s life lies with us. It is the last thank you we can give a man that would be so happy to have such a beautiful granddaughter.
And Dad, if you’re reading this, I remember the promise that you made. You are a very special Grandad to Ella already & I have no doubt that you will continue to do your best to give her the love that two Grandads could. You are the best example that she could ever have.
Merry Christmas to all the stars in the sky.