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Explaining death


 
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lespring
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 9:41 AM    Post subject:
Explaining death
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Angela sees her Grandma Spring every weekend that she's with her dad. They usually have dinner with her on Sunday nights before he brings her home. Grandma Spring was a kindergarten teacher for many years, and is always excellent at coming up with things for the kids to do when they come visit.

A few months ago, Grandma Spring had a cough she couldn't get rid of. Being a heavy smoker for many years, her lung xray looked like cancer, but when they did a biopsy it came back clear. As it turned out, the cancer was in her back, behind her lungs, making it difficult for her to breath.

Angela has come home from her visits with Grandma Spring commenting that Grandma is "really tired", and "needs a rest." When I saw her 3 or 4 weeks ago it was clear she wouldn't be around much longer. I started to talk to Angela about what was coming...

We've been talking a lot about the the circle of life stuff. The everything living is born, and everything dies. Even people. We talked about Grandpa Spring (Grandma's husband) who died a few years ago, and how we don't see him anymore. But we have pictures, and Angela does love those pictures. We talked about how she gets to see Grandma on the weekends, and how special that is to get to spend time with her. That one day, Grandma's body will be tired of fighting cancer, and she will die too. That there won't be dinners at Grandma's anymore, but she'll have great memories, and there are lots of pictures of her with Grandma and some of the special times they had.

In the last week, Grandma Spring to a quick turn for the worse, and on Tuesday was moved into hospice care. She passed away this morning, on her 79th birthday.

When Angela got up this morning, while I was doing her hair for school, I told her that it was Grandma's birthday today. But that it was an extra special birthday. "Grandma got the best birthday present of all. For her birthday, she got healed from Cancer. She doesn't have any more pain, and she's not sick anymore. Grandma died this morning, on her birthday."

Angela was quiet a few minutes as I braided her hair.

"Does Grandma have tears?"

"Well, I don't think Grandma wanted to say goodbye to any of us, but she was ready to be done. No, grandma doesn't have tears. When she died she was not crying."

"I have tears."

"It's ok if you have tears and feel like crying. It's hard to say goodbye, and it's hard to know you won't ever see Grandma again. Daddy will have tears, because he his mommy isn't here anymore. And Auntie Liz and Maggie will have tears because they don't have their mommy here anymore. And you don't have your Grandma Spring anymore. At the funeral, there will be a lot of people are crying, because it's hard to say goodbye. But they're happy for Grandma because she's not sick anymore."

I gave Angela the choice if she wanted to stay home with me for awhile or go to school. She chose to go to school, and seemed fine by the time I dropped her off. Next week I'll take her to the funeral, and she'll sit up front by her dad. I was around the same age when the only grandparent I'd ever known passed away. I have wonderful memories of her. I hope Angela can carry hers wit her as well.

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Did you visit my mom's blog today?
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And don't forget to visit MINE!
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mom to Noah 23, Tyler 21, Angela 14 (DS)
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burnsun
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 9:57 AM    Post subject:
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I am sorry for both of you! I am so proud of you and Angela. I hope school went well today. Hugs

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MarissaMom
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 10:26 AM    Post subject:
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I am so sorry for your loss. Grandma Spring sounds like a special Lady. I love the pictures of Angela in her arms for a big warm hug. Sounds like you guys did a great job sharing and explaining death. Thanks for sharing such a tender and bittersweet moment.

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earlyam
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 10:40 AM    Post subject:
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So sorry for your loss. Your explanation to Angela about illness and death was done beautifully.

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huskies9798
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 10:44 AM    Post subject:
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sorry for your loss hugs & kisses to you, angela & all of the family. that was a great way of expalining to here

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TheBradyBunch
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 11:02 AM    Post subject:
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I'm so sorry for your and her loss. Even I have tears after reading your story Sad

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mary c
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 11:06 AM    Post subject:
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Sad for Angela but she will be sustained by her memories. I remember when my father died of cancer years ago and having a discussion with my five year old about the circle of life. Libby, thinking of the Lion King, smiled knowledgably and asked me "did the wildebeasts get him?"

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LinMac
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 11:36 AM    Post subject:
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Ah Leah! Your explination was wonderful!
My Grandma Spring rest in peace.....I am sorry for your loss!

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Emdad
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 11:56 AM    Post subject:
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I am sorry.
I think you did very well with this. I'm glad that she understands in such a beautiful way, thanks to you.
I'll be thinking of "I have tears" for some time.

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~Ben'smum~
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 1:06 PM    Post subject:
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That was a beautiful explanation you gave to prepare her and its great that she took it so well. Sorry for Angela's loss, sounds like she was a wonderful person in her life.

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rlstewart
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PostPosted: September 16 2010, 6:51 PM    Post subject:
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I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs for Angela.
Your explaination was beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful moment. I too will be thinking of "I have tears" for a long while.

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Teafreak
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PostPosted: September 17 2010, 3:34 PM    Post subject:
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Beautiful explanation and a precious picture with her grandma.

God bless,
Deane

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thatfield
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PostPosted: September 18 2010, 9:56 AM    Post subject:
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I have tears too, that was beautiful.
Prayers to all of your family.

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Bohdi-mama
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PostPosted: September 18 2010, 2:15 PM    Post subject:
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Me, too. I have tears. Thank you for sharing that. I went and visited Angela's blog, too. What an amazingly cool kid she is. Makes me so excited to see how cool Richie is going to be as he grows up, too.

Richie is the apple of his grandma's eye. I don't want to think about the day when grandma moves on, and hopefully it is long away, and he gets thirteen or fourteen whole years with her, like Angela did.

Hugs to Angela and Angela's mom and all the little puppies.

Angela
Mom to Caleb ( 16, Asp. syndrome), Becca (14), Richie (11 mo Ds), wife to Rich
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lespring
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PostPosted: September 18 2010, 2:42 PM    Post subject:
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Thank you everyone, for your kind words. The funeral is this week, and I'll be going along with Angela. I'll be sitting somewhere not with Angela, she'll be sitting in front with her dad. Her dad doesn't handle this kind of stuff well at all. (he would rather tell her everything is fine, and grandma is just sleeping or something along those lines, because clearly she can't understand something as complicated as death.) Hopefully what I'm able to come up with the right things to say.

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~Leah~

Did you visit my mom's blog today?
http://www.gardenofeagan.blogspot.com

And don't forget to visit MINE!
http://itsmylifemom.blogspot.com/

mom to Noah 23, Tyler 21, Angela 14 (DS)
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~Ben'smum~
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PostPosted: September 18 2010, 3:46 PM    Post subject:
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lespring wrote:
Thank you everyone, for your kind words. The funeral is this week, and I'll be going along with Angela. I'll be sitting somewhere not with Angela, she'll be sitting in front with her dad. Her dad doesn't handle this kind of stuff well at all. (he would rather tell her everything is fine, and grandma is just sleeping or something along those lines, because clearly she can't understand something as complicated as death.) Hopefully what I'm able to come up with the right things to say.


Leah, you put it absolutely perfect. Its was beautifully told in a factual way without scaring her about death.

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Googsmom
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PostPosted: September 26 2010, 11:33 AM    Post subject:
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{{{{{HUGS ANGELA}}}}} I'm sorry for your loss Leah.

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