Last weekend my husband's Grandmother (Meemaw to her grandchildren and great-grand children) passed away. She had battled Parkinson's and Alzheimer's for several years. She and her husband, Peepaw, moved in with my in-laws a few years ago. My mother-in-law, Judy. and several home-health nurses took excellent care of her. She passed away in the comfort of her home surrounded by those she loved and that loved her dearly.
Meemaw and Peepaw had been married for 64 years and were a wonderful example to all of us of a loving union. Peepaw was with her until her final moment and his devotion to her was beautiful. They showed all of us what our marriage vows truly mean.
This was also the first time my children have lost a human they loved. I explained to the quads that Meemaw had died. I told them that she had gone to Heaven to be with God and that she would look over us. "Like Stella?" they asked. Well, yes. Stella was their only experience with death. I told them that Meemaw was in Heaven with Stella and God. They understood this as well as three year olds can. Will, on the other hand, has a slightly better idea of what this means. He asked a lot of questions and I answered them as well as I could.
While we were certain that the quads were too young to appreciate the funeral and would bea distraction, we had to decide if we were going to bring Will with us or not. We decided that he would come with us to her layout the night before, but not attend the funeral. Once her headstone is on place, we will take all of the kids to lay flowers at her grave. We talked to Will about funerals and what he would see. He knew that he would see Meemaw, but that her soul is already gone and it is just her body. We had told him that even though we are glad that Meemaw is with God, people will be sad that she is no longer with us.
The evening of the layout, I was a bit worried about Will and how he would handle everything. I did not want him to be scared or overly upset. He really impressed me. He did a great job. Me hugged Judy and told her he was sorry her mother died. He hugged Peepaw and told him that he was sorry his wife died. At one point I saw him, completely unprompted by anyone, standing in front of Meemaw's casket with his hands folded and his head bowed. He told me that he said a prayer for her. He behaved very well and we stayed the whole time. I was so proud of my big boy!
Well almost all night... Toward the end of the layout, most of the guests had left and Peepaw went to the casket to have a moment with his bride of 64 years. Will joined him for a moment and they talked. Later, I asked Peepaw what Will had said. He told me that Will had told him that soon Meemaw would be a skeleton. Oh man! We almost made it! Luckily, Peepaw understood and wasn't bothered by it. He just said, "But doesn't she look pretty right now?" Of course, Will agreed with him.
We love you Meemaw and we are so grateful to have had you in our lives for as long as we did! The love you gave us will always be remembered and passed on through our family.