While I accept and find peace with my own grief, I watch my eldest child, who will be five in December, grapple with her own feelings. Each day this week she has made either a drawing or written something pertaining to her Pop Pop.
She doesn't cry about him. She's only done that once with me. Those tears undid me, and I suspect it will be one of the moments I will remember forever. Her sobs mirrored my own on the afternoon that I heard the news about Dad.
While she doesn't cry, I know that she misses him. Beginning from a very early age, she talked to him on the phone. My father would patiently attempt to have a conversation with a 15-month-old. Inwe would walk around our house with the mobile phone babbling in between real words. At 18 months, Inwe and Dad really were having a back and forth conversation. He would ask questions; Inwe would answer. Dad would sometimes need my translation after the covnersation.
Inwe must want to talk to her Pop Pop. How many times has she wanted to ask the question to talk to him and silently remembered that she couldn't? She knows that he is gone. She doesn't make that mistake. Come to think of it--neither does my three year old.
Today Inwe colored a card with these words, "I love Pop Pop. Pop Pop loves me." She told me that she will never stop loving Pop Pop. I mentioned that she was focusing quite a bit on him this week. Her answer was, "I think about him all the time. I just don't cry like you, Mommy. I am sad about him."
I won't do any more psychoanalysis of my daughter. It isn't necessary. She is experiencing her own grief and will reach out to Phill when she needs help.