It’s a bit like recovering a lost treasure, the grieving process.
We grieve the woman we knew, most recently, the grandma...the old woman who was sadly broken down by Alzheimer’s and yet earlier, the woman who stood proudly beside grandpa through all of their adventures, whose life included travel and hard work.
And then we recognize what we’d lost years ago, lost to the disease, the mom...the keeper of all the family knowledge, the statistician, the woman who listened (and talked) and worried and cared for so many. And even farther into the treasure, the pretty young mom in the “clingy dress” seeing her soldier off at the airport.
And then we discover, deeper into the archives, in photos and stories, the young woman we never knew, the beauty, the one in the sweetie’s letterman sweater, the confident and sexy woman striking a pose in the swimsuit, the carhop who “got a $20 tip once, because she was so sweet and so pretty.”
And farther into the past, we see the adorable little girl, the littlest sister of three, the one with the scrunched up nose...
And it occurs to us that the grandma, the mom, the beauty, the girl...was there all along, a woman in all of her beautiful forms.
...and we grieve, the woman we knew and the girl that we wish we had.
The treasure rediscovered is lost again, and we grieve.
Rest In Peace.
Venita Ryan, my sweet mom-in-law1938-2018