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Grandfather Died, Granddaughter Copes And Speaks at Funeral

Watching My Daughter Cope with The Loss Of A Grandfather

As I mentioned in my last blog, my dad had a massive stroke. Sadly, he died within a week. We had a beautiful time together as a family the weekend before he died. And for that, I am very grateful.

My 17-year-old daughter decided that she wanted to speak at the funeral. Although she doesn’t enjoy public speaking, she made up her mind that she was going to talk anyway. “I know I’m going to cry,” she told me. I reassured her that it would be fine to cry. “But what if I lose it and can’t go on?” she worried. I promised her that I would go to the podium and finish reading what she wrote, if she wanted to me. I don’t mind public speaking at all. My daughter takes after my quiet husband.

A grandfather dies. A granddaughter struggles.

She practiced the eulogy of her grandpa in front of me. It was wonderful—from the heart—sad and touching. It’s a good thing she read it to me before the funeral, because when she got up to speak and started to cry, I started to cry, too. And between my sobbing and her crying, I didn’t hear one word.

So many people came up to me after the funeral to say how moving her speech was. I was proud of her for honoring her grandfather’s memory in front of the standing-room-only crowd. I admired her for pushing through her dread of public speaking in order to make a public declaration of her love for my dad. And I was glad to be reminded of the closeness they shared.

It’s been quite a dramatic week, beginning with my father’s sudden death. My son graduated from college, my daughter is finalizing plans for senior prom and she took AP tests. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions with many other exciting things about to happen over the next few weeks. While the busy calendar helps to distract us from our loss, and while we are grateful for my dad’s 82 years, we feel his absence at each event.

Valerie Newman lives in Connecticut with her husband and two kids. When Valerie started mixing up her kid’s college applications with her mother’s nursing home applications, she knew she was part of the sandwich generation.

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