It’s been a tough week. My daughter and grandsons have been staying with me since we’ve all come down with colds and allergies due to the change in weather. We believe it’s better to care for each other, rather than try to go it alone.
We’ve found a place of comfort with each other in the midst of our losses. Today was a different day though.
This morning my five year old grandson came into my room. We tickled each other and laughed for a moment. Then he got off the bed and went to stand in front of the shelf.
There, on the top shelf a display of my husband’s life is stored.
Although my grandson was only three years old when his “Bop-Bop” went to Heaven, he remembers him dearly.
He took one of the photos off the shelf, crawled back up on the bed and stared at it intently while silent tears fell down his sweet, flushed cheeks.
My daughter and three year old grandson came into the room. When my daughter saw what was going on, she quietly led the baby from the room to allow his brother some quiet time to grieve.
As I sat next to my grandson with my arm around him, my own tears began to flow in response to his.
My grandson then asked me if I had a movie of Bop-Bop; and I put on Jerry’s memorial video as we snuggled in the chair to remember.
In the two years since Jerry has left us, there have been many times both my grandsons have declared how much they miss him. As a point of reference, the boys have begun waving at the moon to say hello to their Bop-Bop.
Having that point of reference means so very much to them. It gives them something physical to relate to their grandfather. We’ve told them their Bop-Bop lives in Heaven way behind the moon. So the moon became their tie to the spirit of their Bop-Bop.
Even the baby calls out to him and tells of memories he has even though he had just turn a year old when Jerry died.
When you are so very loved by someone, the age does not interfere with the love and memories. You would think that such small children would not have such vivid memories, wouldn’t you? Yet, their memories are strong and faithful.
It’s hard when children grieve. Many people do not really know how to handle a child’s grief, but it’s actually quite simple. Give them a point of reference; something tangible to relate to. Remember with them; cry with them; laugh with them. Help them keep the love alive.
Remembering Bop-Bop is important to my grandchildren just as it is to the rest of us. Telling stories and sharing memories helps them remember the love most of all.
Even if it brings tears, do not hide reality from young ones. It keeps the love alive and the fear at rest. Give them hope, faith and assurance that we’ll all be in Heaven together some day. Let them know that trusting what Jesus has promised; that He has prepared a place for us, assures us of love everlasting.
That’s how we remember Bop-Bop.