Thursday, November 04, 2004

Difficult days ahead

Blogging may be light over the next few days because we've had a death in our family. My mother-in-law passed away yesterday morning at age 89, and in addition to our own feelings of loss we will be bearing the condolences of many, many, many Italian relatives. Three wakes, a church service and a funeral would be hard enough to get through without a sensory-integration-challenged child in tow. Maybe my guy will rise to the occasion. Grandma lived with us, and he was fond of her. Maybe he'll sense the seriousness of the event and sit solemn and quiet. Or maybe he'll just wait an extra five minutes or so before running around yelling. Even that would be a blessing, I suppose.

My daughter, who often helped Grandma and spent most of the morning with her before she went to the hospital last week, had a fairly low-key reaction when she first heard the news. "I'm not sad," she assured me. An hour later she was crying uncontrollably; she'd seen the morning paper on the lawn, and remembered how she always used to bring it downstairs to Grandma's room, and realized she'd never do that again. Later in the evening, she was just full of questions, and must have spent an hour at the dinner table asking my husband to tell her things about his mother. My son started with the questions early: After hearing the news, he was sad right away, but then wondered, Who will live in Grandma's room now? and What's going to happen to the food in her refrigerator? He'll probably be thinking up more of those questions, and asking them in a loud voice, in the middle of the funeral Mass.

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