Grief Undone

It’s been a tumultuous couple of days. Tears. Memories.

We’ve all felt very tired. But today I woke up determined to give attention to a short list of things I felt I needed to do.  Should do.

I got dressed, ran an errand. Returned some phone calls from sweet friends checking in on us. Then ended up right back at home. Teary and undone. Lacking energy. And lacking enthusiasm for regular life.

I was stumbling about the house, ready to berate myself for not getting it together when I saw this on Sara’s unmade bed.

This very large, stuffed animal is ‘Big Dog’ … I haven’t seen Big Dog in years. Probably not since Sara was 10 years old. She is now 17. But there he was on her unmade bed. It took my breath away.

Big Dog was a gift from my mother-in-law, Ann, who passed away just this week. A gift from a doting grandmother to her youngest grandchild.

I’m sure at some point as Sara got older and Big Dog moved from atop her bed to the top of her closet, I tried to convince her that she didn’t need Big Dog anymore. That she was far too old for a stuffed toy. Especially one that large.

Can I tell you today how I am glad she held on to him?

Seeing that big, old stuffed dog on Sara’s unmade bed helped me remember that grief comes unexpected. It is messy. Undone. But when it rushes in, it is good to give in and remember.

What I saw today … was the sweetness of a teenager holding on to her ‘Mimom’s’ memory just a little longer. And through tears, I held on a little longer too.