So since July is the month for bereaved parents, I thought it would be more than acceptable to make a special blog post about grandparents.
Before I had the pleasure of meeting my in-laws, I never knew true, authentic love.
I thought that the way that they loved me,
couldn’t get any better.
But then I saw how they loved our children.
I watched them open up to Ariana and to accept her as their own.
Without any hesitation at all.
I watched how they acted when Bo was born.
They were always so supportive. Dropping everything at the drop of a dime.
He was born and they were there.
They stayed there the entire time that I was in labor.
They knew boundaries and understood all of our fears.
When we needed a sitter or if we were in a tight spot,
they never had a problem taking off work.
I can remember a certain number of times where I got really sick with the flu and had to go to the hospital.
They were there in a matter of minutes. Laure to stay with the kids and Wayne Senior to come and help.
As Bo began to grow I got to see another side.
An even deeper amount of care and love.
Something that was so foreign and different to me.
It was so true and authentic.
So blissful and deep.
I love them so much.
I’ll admit that at first I was petrified to let them in.
I was so scared but something told me that it was so safe.
And before you knew it,
they were over all the time.
Every weekend that they had a chance,
we were having cookouts and family time.
It felt so good to have somebody in my life that wanted to be there.
I felt even better knowing that our children were able to be loved on so deeply.
Bo and his papa shared a special bond.
He did a lot of first things with his grandpa.
He saw his first turkey with his papa, his first deer with his papa, his first fish with his papa.
Of course all of them with his daddy right next to him but his papa was always on the other side.
And as close as he was with his papa he shared and even more inseparable bond with his grandma.
They were together so very often and it was such an amazing feeling to be able to witness a love to pure.
And as deep as this love was for the three of them, we thought that we had time.
We all did.
We thought that we had so much time left together.
Bo was here for very close to 11 months of his life. He had a specific mission. It was to love. To be loved. To spread love. And he did that. And so much more.
I often think of the photo above when I think of grandma and grandpa with our beloved son.
This photo sticks out so much in my mind because they both are right there with him.
They both are there loving him.
They both are there kissing him.
Letting him know that he is safe.
That he is loved.
And then it happened.
The worst day of our lives.
And although my sister-in-law experienced the loss of her son, Wil, I wasn’t present in the Hartwig family yet.
But I can only imagine the support that was given from her mom and dad.
I can remember that day like it was yesterday.
And yet it seems like forever ago.
I remember screaming and pleading with God.
Thinking he can’t take my baby.
He can’t take our baby.
I remember watching the paramedics do CPR with him on our front porch.
And while they did that, all I could think about was my daughter upstairs enduring the horror that she had seen and heard.
I remember calling my mother-in-law and screaming, “get here now!“
And she was there. In a matter of minutes.
She said she’d never forget the sound of my voice, screaming.
And she stayed here most of the morning.
And as horrible as I feel for not having her come to the hospital, my heart tells me that there’s a reason for it.
She gets to experience him the way he was.
The way the love between the two of them was blissful and complete.
After that day, we stayed over by their house because we couldn’t return back to our own.
They both slept together,
in a twin size bed and
gladly gave us their bed to sleep in.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night looking at Wayne thinking it was just a dream.
It was just a nightmare.
Everything is okay!
But it wasn’t.
Our life changed in a matter of an instant.
A single incident.
He carried so much of us.
Each of us individually.
He had so much love packed into that little body.
He brought so much joy to our family.
And I am so thankful for him.
But I am also thankful for his grandparents.
I was able to experience and witness true love in its purest form.
And although he went before us, I know that we will all be together again.
But that does not change the suffering that is occurring now.
Because I see it daily.
I see at my father-in-law’s eyes,
every time I see him.
I see it may not mother-in-law’s actions.
I see how she misses him.
And when they talk about him,
They are proud to have two beautiful grandsons in heaven.
And although we would love to have them on earth with us we know that there is no better place.
Sometimes I admit it angers me.
That two of the most beautiful people on earth have to endure such suffering in their hearts.
My mother and father-in-law don’t deserve this.
But in the grand scheme of things,
When I see how they honor their grandson with our organization,
it beams me with pride.
I can always depend on them.
I can always count on them.
I get to say that they are mine.
Laure usually watches the kids and makes sure their safe.
And there’s never any problem with that.
Senior usually helps with problem solving.
He solicits his ideas and makes sure everything goes off without a hitch.
I’m so proud to have them involved in our organization.
And not just involved, but centered.
They are the backbone and amazing directors on our board.
But you see, grandparents have two types of grief that they have to endure.
They have to see their children suffer with the unimaginable pain and agony.
And know that they can do nothing to help them because they can’t bring them back.
And along with that grief, comes the grief of missing their grandsons..
Grandparents Grieve Too.