I walked past her room to put a load of laundry in the washer.
She was sitting at her desk, writing something on a piece of paper. She had a Very Serious Look on her face as her hand moved quickly across the paper.
It’s not uncommon for her to sit quietly at her desk and write things or color. But I could tell that was she was doing was important. I walked into her room, knelt down by her desk.
“What are you writing, Mija?”
“I’m writing a letter to Opa, even though I know he’s already dead.”
Even though it’s been 10 months since he died, it still feels like a punch to the gut to hear the words spoken out loud. He’s dead. My Grandpa is dead..
“What does the letter say?” I asked.
She looked directly in my eyes and said “thank you for loving me while you were alive, Opa.”
I was speechless. One of the things that I worried most about after he died was that she would forget him. That she would grow up not knowing how much he loved and adored her. I didn’t worry about my boys, they are old enough to remember. They had so many more years with him than she did. They KNOW without a shadow of a doubt how much he loved that and what an amazing man he was. I am grateful for that. But I was sure she’d forget him, being only 4 years old when he passed.
That little girl hasn’t forgotten her Opa. She still thinks about him, she misses him. But more importantly, she still knows that her Opa loved her. And oh my God, did he ever love her.
He loved us all. We were incredibly blessed to have his love for he was truly the most wonderful man.
Her letter to him gives me hope that even though he is gone, he will ALWAYS be wonderful in the eyes of my children.

29 thoughts on “Letters

  1. Nancy P

    “She looked directly in my eyes and said “thank you for loving me while you were alive, Opa”
    WOW, goosebumps. THAT right there is priceless and I just bet he is beaming up there.

  2. jessica b

    That ws beautiful. And I understand how worried you were about whether she would remember or really comprehend the love that he had for her (my neice is 2.5 years old and will not remember her pappy, the most amazing man in the world… in my eyes of course). It’s such a blessing that she not only remembers and understands, but that she is truly grateful for it. She’s a beautiful little girl and is on her way to becoming a truly beautiful woman. I’m sure you are and will always be so totally proud. :)

  3. Arkie Mama

    Beautiful. My mother-in-law passed away this year and my husband cried one night when he told me how afraid he was that our younger two wouldn’t remember her. I believe they will, however. And your post just made me feel even more certain.

  4. Bonnie

    I was so stunned that I didn’t cry at my dad’s funeral. 30+ years later everything that he was surrounds my life. He built our house from the ground up … I became a construction project manager. Our town has named every fire truck after him … those trucks were there when the wildfire almost destroyed my hometown. Every October 15th, his birthday, I write a letter to him.

  5. Balcony Gal

    Man, how I hate coming here looking for the fun stuff and you pull out the fun, endearing, important, loving stuff. Going through our own grieving here and learning what a 3 & 4 yo understand. They get it differently. Beautifully. More succinctly. More in-your-face.

  6. Jules

    Damn you Y for sneaking this up on me and making me cry. But thank you for causing me to think about my own Grandpa this evening and how much I miss him. Unfortunately, Josie will never know how much he loved her. She was just too young.

  7. kaleigh

    Lovely. That’s a wonderful girl you’ve got there, and she’s a tribute to the love she’s received from you and from Opa. Save that letter!!

  8. Jean

    I lost my grandparents in my teens (most of them). I’m now quite a bit older (not saying 😉 and still remember them, and talk to them, and when I look at my son, I think about how much they would have adored him. Kids never forget Y…grandparents hold a special place in our hearts.

  9. Operation Pink Herring

    My Opa passed away when I was about G’s age. I don’t remember specific things we did together and I can’t picture his face. What I do remember is that he was such a joy to be around, that he was always laughing and telling jokes, and that I loved sitting on his lap while he sang German songs I couldn’t understand a word of. She won’t forget him, ever.

  10. SuzyVoices

    Oh, that’s so sweet. My grandfather died when I was 4 and I don’t remember hardly anything about him. So make sure she keeps him in her heart and mind. But it soubds like she’s already doing that. :)

  11. Kim j

    Believe me she will not forget. She will remember and she will have you smiling and crying at the memories she will remember for years to come. My son was 4 yrs old, 1month and a day when his twin brother passed away. I was so worried he would forget him. He brings our angel to life every single day and it will be four years in Feb. He tells us things that we have forgotten and its like a treasure to remember all over again. Especially since his brother is telling us through his eyes and thoughts.
    She is so sweet and beautiful. Great job Y.

  12. Gentry

    Stumbled on your blog by happenstance, this was the first post I read. Wow.
    We lost Grandpa 2 years ago. My oldest was four. Some of the deep thoughts he has shared over these past couple of years absolutely amaze me. At the time Grandpa passed, William was totally obsessed with balls. I really tossed it over if we should allow him to go to the visitation. In the end we asked him, and he choose to go. He got a special ball and took it with him. We thought “oh security object”. No…he gave that special little ball to his “papa” to be buryed with him. William has started a tradition when we have helium balloons, he enjoys sending them up “to Papa”. When our beloved family dog died last year, William comforted us by saying “you know, now Brinkley is up in heaven playing ball with Papa”. It is amazing to see death from a child’s eyes sometimes, isn’t it?

  13. Missy Tucker

    I have been reading your blog for quite a while now. And, I LOVE IT! It makes me laugh out loud at almost every reading. I just lost my Grandpa this week, and the services were 2 days ago. I remember reading your blog about your grandpa and the loss, and it keeps running through my head. I understand what you were feeling then, because I am feeling it now. I was so super close to my Grandpa, and I cannot even imagine the magnitude of the loss that we will continue to experience over the course of our lifetime. The crying, and hurt just seem to hang on my heart. But, I wanted you to know that your blog has helped me. And, I wanted to thank you for it! The memories of these wonderful men will be sure to live on through the lives of those who loved them.

  14. Neilochka

    I know how much your grandfather means to you. You even told me how much your storytelling skill on this blog comes from him, so I can see how special it must be that your daughter feels as close to him as you do.

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