Grandpa Mugs and spreadsheets

In my search for advice, empathy, survival tips on grieving, I’ve come across some helpful articles. One place where I found a relatable story was at modernloss.com

These words from Elaine Ross rang true with me:

We never had a sweeping declaration of love conversation.

For 18 months, I’ve been falling asleep hoping to dream the words we left unsaid; and I’ve been waking up hoping to come upon a letter he’d forgotten to give me.

I allowed him to take his last breath without saying those precious words?….

It wasn’t until I taped the last box of his clothes and carried it into the car did I realize what I had found in that closet. The business card on which I wrote my cellphone number down the night we first met, every Father’s Day card and birthday present and random art project the kids ever gifted to him, printed Excel spreadsheets with all our home vendors with phone numbers and contact names (which would have been helpful in those first days of widowhood), and pages upon pages of treatments, medical and natural. What I found was in fact what I was looking for: acknowledgment of how much he loved me and the family we created, of how often he quietly and bravely faced his own mortality, of how certain he was that I would know best how to find our way forward…

The deeper meaning, then, is not found in the things we said, because we didn’t, but in the way we approached our truth.

Some of the things I have found that let me know I would find my way forward were the books of his I have to read, the index cards of Bible verses, the baseball glove, the folder of letters, the grandpa mugs and “No, You Can’t Have a Sip” mug, the little black book of user names and passwords, the budget spreadsheets where he had slaved over the figures for months, figuring out that, yes, he could retire. Yes, we could make a go of it. We just didn’t know then that it would just be me making a go of it. But, he planned well and took care of me. God knew and He takes care of me.

Do I want Chuck back? Yes, with all my heart. Do I doubt God’s plan? No, but neither do I understand it.

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