This past week our family lost a very special person. Mike's Grandma Katie, to Lucas and Eli she was Lola Katie. Grandma came to live with Mike's parents a few months before the boys came home from the Philippines.
You wouldn't think that 3 people so far apart in age, language and background would have much in common but they managed to bridge that gap and ignore the parts that were beyond explanation to a 94 year old and 2 little boys.
Katie worried about the boys (as she did everyone) and the boys worried about her and when we could visit the next time.
This past week as we knew our time with Grandma was ending we slowly began introducing the concept to the boys that Grandma was very ill and wouldn't be able to get better. With no base to build on we were sailing uncharted waters with them. How to explain death and funerals to someone who has no base of reference.
Like so many things the boys have approached this unknown experience the way I'd wish adults could. They ask questions (sometimes uncomfortable ones) think over the answers, come back with more questions and have had the most loving conversations about and to Lola Katie. They worry about their other Grandmas and frequently ask about them.
When they talk about Katie it amazes me how much they have come to know her in this brief amount of time. Katie was an artist (the boys can tell you which paintings she did), she liked to read (Lucas is concerned if she gets to read in heaven), Katie had to use oxygen (the boys are glad she no longer has to drag that around).
Some people are freaked out when a death of a person and even sadly when that person is talked openly about and remembered. I am so glad that Lucas and Eli don't have these hangups. We're hoping that they can hold onto their memories of Lola Katie, she was a person who met them where they started in our family and never made them feel anything but loved.