It is actually possible to grieve for someone before they die. I’m doing a Podcamp session tomorrow on Blogging Grief, so I’m reposting this today. As an illustration of how I have grieved, and how I have written about it.
My grandmother died more than a year ago. I’ve been missing her a lot longer than that.
As the nurse was helping her into bed that night, she discovered a photo in her pocket.
“Oh, look, Olympia! Your great-grand-daughters are beautiful!”
She looked at the picture, a little creased from spending the day in her pocket. Two little girls smiled out of it: a blue-eyed, dark haired beauty, and a green-eyed blondie with mischief written all over her grin.
She wondered whose children they were. Certainly not, probably not her own. She was an old lady now. Her daughter’s? She did have a daughter, she thought she recalled. Had her daughter had children? Her daughter’s daughters? Her daughter’s daughter’s daughters?
“Do you know their names?”
Oh, she thought, oh, they probably aren’t mine, she thought. Someone probably gave that photograph to me by mistake. But wouldn’t it be nice if they came to see me, too? I would hug them and give them cookies. They look so sweet. Such sweet little girls. I wish I knew who they were.