Listening to my 3-year-old daughter excitedly recount her first day of school to her great-grandmother, affectionately known as "Nana the Great," was a bittersweet moment that nearly brought me to tears. While the interaction was undeniably heartwarming, it also served as a poignant reminder of my own grandmother, whom my daughter will never have the chance to meet. The realization that I can no longer share my day-to-day experiences with my grandmother is a loss that weighs heavily on me. And it saddens me to know that one day, my daughter will grapple with this same sense of loss.
Death itself isn't the enemy; it's the mourning that follows that feels like a burden too heavy to bear. In my life, the sting of death remained abstract until I lost a mentor and friend. The reality of it hit even harder when I lost multiple family members during the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as I wish I could shield my daughter from this inevitable part of life, I know it's a battle she'll have to face on her own terms. She'll have to learn how to navigate the emotional landscape of grief, just as I have.
My hope is that she finds solace in cherishing the memories of those who have passed on, and that she continues to build upon their legacies. I hope she does so with grace, understanding, and self-forgiveness, especially in a world that often forgets too quickly the people who have touched our lives.
My daughter's love is as pure as one could imagine, akin to that of a deity or an angel. In the face of life's inevitable storms, I hope she finds a way to maintain that purity, to find peace in the quiet moments, and to carry the love of those she'll lose as a source of strength and inspiration.