Recently my beautiful, vibrant loving mother passed away. This was very sudden and very unexpected. The grief I feel is, at times overwhelming and each day I hold the memory of my mother so very close. I raced home to be with family, esp. my four year old niece Ella.
My mother left this earth a wife, a mum and one role she cherished a grandmother. She was not Nan, Nana or Grandma she was lovingly called Mimi.
You could see Mimi took on the role of grandparent very seriously. She adored her grandchildren and spent as much time with them as possible. She loved teaching Ella about the beauty of nature, the importance to care for our earth and to always, always stop to smell the roses.
My heart broke every time I thought about Ella not having her Mimi anymore. I worried about how Ella would take the news and if she would understand what happened. I started drawing on previous experience and researching into how to support children when they have lost a family member.
But I didn’t need to worry. Ella’s mum and dad (my brother) spoke to Ella in such a gentle loving way ……
They told Ella that Mimi was very sick, so sick she had to go to the hospital in an ambulance. They explained to Ella that the doctors worked very hard trying to make Mimi better but sadly Mimi’s heart stopped working and she died. With tears in their eyes they explained to Ella that Mimi is now in spirit and is not here anymore. They explained that its ok to be sad, that everyone that loved Mimi is feeling very sad. My family explained to Ella if she is missing Mimi that there is a way to see her again. My brother told Ella that when she goes to sleep at night ask Mimi to be in your dreams and together you can go on a journey together, just Ella and Mimi.
I thought how they explained death to Ella was so beautiful. Ella often talks to me how she misses Mimi, but then she looks up at me and with a big smile says “You know Aunty Catherine I see Mimi in my dreams”