While driving today with the kids my emotions, no, my grief found its way to the surface. We pass a cemetary on our drive towards the city. Inwe always looks at it. She shares her father's interest in cemetaries. I think he likes them because there is a story with every gravestone or monument. With her, I don't know yet. She's four. Everything is interesting.
She said to me, "Someone is getting buried today. There's a green tent up."
"Oh, okay," was the only response I could eke out. The pavillion at Barrancas National Cemetary where Dad is interred is green.
"That person died," Inwe continued to talk not realizing that I was attempting to reign in my grief.
I sighed as I said, "People die every day, Inwe."
I could feel her feet pushing on the back of the driver's seat. "MmmHmm, they were very old, or maybe their heart stopped like Pop Pop's did. That's something that I'll always remember that Pop Pop's heart stopped."
My tears were flowing freely then. I didn't even bother to wipe them from my cheeks. My words crackled with emotion, "Inwe, do you know what I want you to remember about Pop Pop?"
"That he loved you very much. That's what I always want you to remember. He loved you."
Inwe's feet stopped pushing on the back of my seat. "I know he did. I loved him, too." She took a loud breath. "Mommy, you're very sad now, aren't you?"
"I am, Inwe, but it won't always be this way. One day I won't cry so much when you talk about Pop Pop. It's okay for you to talk about him. Talk about him as much as you want and whenever you want."
We were mostly silent for the rest of the drive to the gym. I heard Larien say that she missed Pop Pop and Inwe responded, but I didn't hear what that was. The kids had lunch as I made my exercise appointment. As I exercised under the watchful eye of the trainer, she commented that I was working very hard, maybe pushing too much. "I need this right now." I think she understood.