Grief Doesn’t Have a Time Limit

Tonight we brought our extra (our girl) home with us. Her school is on fall break this week so on a Thursday night she can come home with us and it’s no big deal. I thought we were going to watch football when we got home (Georgia Tech v Virginia Tech), but they all decided we should watch/listen to YouTube instead.

All three kids and Chris had ideas of what songs we should listen to. Chris turned on the first song. I said Jaidyn could pick the next song, and then Connor and then Cameron. (Honestly it was just the way they got to me.) However sometimes YouTube turns the next song on and you just have to listen to it.

When it got to Jaidyn’s second time to pick she asked for “Drink a Beer.” Most people know it because Luke Bryan sings it. I know Chris Stapleton wrote it and also sings it so that was the version we listened to.

In case you don’t know it about my three kids, they have all had so many people they love die. And Jaidyn asked for the song because she was thinking about one of those people who all five of us loved.

YouTube knows how we normally listen to music so they took us “Broken Halos” next. So how could we change it? And then because we were neck deep in “people we love have died” Chris as an adult got to throw his pick in next. He said since we were this far in he wanted Brooks and Dunn’s “Believe” which is our Grandpa John song.

Everyone understands that Dad gets to pick a song and then Connor’s song is next. No big deal. And then I watch Connor run to my bedroom. Thinking the other two kids were jerks, I follow to find out what’s going on and who’s in trouble. I find Connor sitting on the floor, his back against my dresser and tears running down his cheeks.

I sat down next to him and asked him what happened. He said, “Why did you have to play that?!” Honestly, I thought he was mad that he didn’t get to pick the song. I told him when it was over he got to pick the next song. That just made him cry harder and made him mad at me. I told him I was sorry but I didn’t know what was wrong.

He leaned into me and said, “I miss Grandpa John so much.” My heart broke and I felt like such a jerk all at the same time. I thought of all the times that I’ve sat and cried (normally on my husband’s lap) over these past three years. And let me tell you, regularly I sit on my husband’s lap and he holds me while I cry about how much I miss my grandpa. (Not the point of this but important enough to say I have an amazing husband.)

Connor told me repeatedly that he misses Grandpa John. He told me how mad he was that we played that song that makes him think about Grandpa and reminds him how much he misses Grandpa. We talked about how we all miss Grandpa John. I told Connor how proud Grandpa would be of him. How Grandpa is with Jesus and because Connor loves Jesus someday we will be with Grandpa again, but Grandpa wants us to live long full lives.

We laughed about how Connor is almost as tall as Grandpa John because the year before Grandpa died I broke my right foot. For my last doctor’s appointment Grandpa stayed at my house with the boys and Grandma drove me to the doctor. Apparently while we were gone the boys showed Grandpa the papers taped to the wall where I measured the boys. Connor was already taller than the 48 inches so I had taped a blue paper to the wall above it. Grandpa was taller than that paper reached but he made a line at the top of the paper and wrote Grandpa John for the boys. What seemed super tall to them at the time is almost their current height.

We laughed at all the “naughty” stuff Grandpa used to do with my boys. The three of them were always looking for trouble. We talked about how Grandpa wants Connor to live a long and good life.

Even though I know Connor has seen my tears, we talked about the times that I need to sit and cry and how that’s okay. Some times we miss Grandpa so much we need to cry about it, but someday we will be back together again. And it’s okay to be sad. There’s not a time limit on our sadness.

Honestly I sometimes forget how much my boys miss my grandpa. They probably miss him as much as I do. They did so much together. And sometimes we all just need to sit and cry about it. Grief doesn’t have a time limit. Connor and I cried together for a little bit. Then we wiped our faces, stood up, and went back to the living room. We both just needed that little break tonight to remember a man we both loved so much.If you are missing someone today, don’t let people tell you that you should be over it. Grief doesn’t have a time limit. One month, three months, one year, three years, ten years it doesn’t matter. Your grief is yours. And while you continue to live, you don’t “get over” losing someone you love. It’s okay to cry for your lose. We still cry for ours.