Grief and Joy

diana-grandpa

This was not the post I intended to share today.  Today’s post was supposed to be joyful and bubbly, full of excitement and expectation.  I was going to share the news I’ve been waiting a month to tell you and then sit back and watch giddily as congratulations and advice poured in.  Instead my heart is broken and I can barely see through tear filled eyes as I try to write.  Yesterday, my grandfather passed away.Grandpa-Ivory-Coast-Friend

My grandparents were missionaries in Ivory Coast, Africa for 50 years.  They even helped to create the written language for the Senufo people.  Grandpa was one of those people who loved and was loved by everybody he met, but especially by West Africans.

Grandpa-African-Friend

He accomplished many great things in his lifetime, but to me, the most important, he was a wonderful grandfather.  We grew extremely close when I was 19 and spent several months living with my grandparents to help them pack their belongings, and then driving them across the country.  We read together, I listened to stories of his time in Africa, and laughed silently as he leaned across my seat to make sure I was going at least 10 miles below the speed limit.

When Eric and I started dating, Grandpa instantly bonded with him and took him in as his grandson.  After we got married (Grandpa wore a monk robe to our Renaissance wedding!), we would regularly make the hour’s drive down to visit and spend as much time as possible with him and Grandma.  Each time, Grandpa would ask the inevitable question, “When are you two going to have a baby?”

This Friday, we were going to go down and tell him and Grandma in person that the time had finally come.

But we were too late.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s in heaven now, and I know that he now knows we’re pregnant.  But it hurts that I didn’t get to share the news and see his face light up.

It’s been fun talking to Grandma about nausea and food cravings and sore backs, and I know it’s been a bright spot in the past couple of days for her.  But it feels so hard to celebrate when we hurt so much.

I just wanted to share with you, because I’ve been so dang sick for the past month that I haven’t cooked anything and just looking at food photos to try and do a post often sends me running for the bathroom.  We truly are thrilled to be parents, and I’ll have lots of posts soon looking for nausea tips and sharing videos and photos.  But for right now I’m just mourning.

I have some scheduled posts coming up and am bringing back some favorites from the archives.  Hopefully in the next couple weeks I’ll be able to start creating recipes again.  I love and appreciate all of you and thank you so much for your prayers and warm thoughts in this hard time.

Here’s a happy thought to leave you with:

bump-ahead-sign


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30 Responses to “Grief and Joy”

  1. Elise
    June 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Dearest Diana,

    My heart is both breaking for your loss and full of joy for the new life on the way. A million blessings to you and your family. I know your grandfather is smiling at you from heaven, thrilled with your news, and even though your journey continues without him, you will be joined by a new love of your life. Big big hugs Diana. Sending you all the love in my heart.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      Thank you so much Elise. Love you tons!

  2. Crystal
    June 13, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    I am so sorry for your loss. You’ll be in my prayers. Congratulations on your little blessing, I know your grandpa will be looking down on you with love as your family grows.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Thanks for the prayers Crystal. He definitely will!

  3. Jaden
    June 14, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Hugs…….

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Thanks Jaden, love you!

  4. Geneva
    June 14, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and that this occurred during such a joyous time for your family. It is always hard when you lose a loved one, and unfortunately there isn’t any amount of kind words that can make you feel better, it just takes time. Congratulations on your growing blessing, and just know that your Grandpa is watching over your family as a guardian angel.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      Thank you Geneva. Just reading everyone’s words of love, support and encouragement today is truly uplifting.

  5. Gretchen
    June 14, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Diana, I am so sorry that you lost your Grandpa. I know how it is to be close to Grandparents and I know that it would be devastating to lose someone so loved. What a legacy they left and yes I am SURE that your Grandpa is rejoicing in heaven over your new joy! God does care for every tear shed and holds you close.

    I have been following along with your site for a couple of years now and have especially enjoyed the sweet Love Story =)
    Blessing to you and your hubby as you start this new journey with your little bun!

    Gretchen

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      Thank you so much Gretchen. And thanks for the Love Story reminder. I need to start updating that again, it’s been so much fun to write everything down. So appreciate your support!

  6. Zoe
    June 14, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My grandmother passed away last October, and I definitely know how much it hurts. Wish I could give you a hug.

    Also, congratulations on the new addition to your family! You will be an awesome mom. :) Will you still host exchange students? Just curious.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      Thanks Zoe, virtual hug accepted! We have talked about whether or not we will still host one exchange student (in the bedroom that isn’t going to be the nursery). On the one hand, it’s recommended everyone in the home have all the immunizations like flu and whooping cough which we of course can’t require of an exchange student. On the other hand, my dad and his siblings were raised in a village in Africa around all sorts of scary diseases and did just fine. It will also depend on our financial needs and on whether it would still be a good environment for the student to be able to thrive. Guess we’ll wait and see for right now!

  7. Bee
    June 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    I am sitting at my desk all tearful for your loss. You can tell you loved each other very much and I am so glad that you got to spend time with both your grandparents and have such great memories which .. once time passes you will be able to remember without too much sadness because he is in a better place, looking down with love on you and most likely already communing with your unborn child. Oh the memories you will be able to share with that “bump ahead”… tears of sadness and tears of joy, life is full of bumps both to get over and to welcome…congratulations.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Thanks Bee. Having the memorial the week after his passing really helped with the healing. Eric and I created a video montage for the memorial and it took a lot of tears to make but also brought us to such a place of peace and comfort.

  8. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    June 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your grandfather, Diana… You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    And, of course, congratulations on the baby on the way… Hope you start feeling better soon!

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks Jen! I’ve definitely felt everyones prayers these past couple weeks.

  9. Tonja
    June 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    I am so sorry for you loss, but as you said, grandpa is in heaven looking down. I know the sorrow of losing all my grandparents in the past few years, but I take great comfort in the fact that I will see them again in heaven and they are looking down and cheering me on when I need it and praying in sorrow. Congratulations on this wonderful new journey that you and your hubby have started on. I look forward to your future posts and a peek into your life as it continues. Take care.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      Thank you Tonja. Eric and I went to see my grandmother the day grandpa passed away, and she told me that she knew he was so excited because he probably found out about his great grandbaby as soon as he got to heaven. She said “I bet he knows more about that baby now then we do!” He lived a life of a lot of pain and suffering so when I’m struggling with the nausea and exhaustion I remember all he went through and know that he is definitely cheering me on from above.

  10. Guy
    June 16, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Dear Diana, Elise sent me the bad news about your Grandpa and I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost my dear sister and mom two months apart last November I know the emptiness and heartache you must feel. But remember we can turn our back on tomorrow and live yesterday or we can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. Death leaves a heartache that’s hard to heal, but love leaves a memory no one can steal. Your Grandpa is now in heaven waiting for you to give life to your new baby and I am sure he will find a way to send down a message for his continued love to the three of you. Congratulation to you and Eric on your new baby. Your Grandpa may not have heard the good news but I have no doubt that God already gave it to him. It was nice meeting you both in Seattle. God bless you.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      Oh Guy, your comment has brought tears to my eyes, in a wonderful way. Thank you so much. That’s so true, I have the most amazing memories of my grandfather and I treasure each and every one. Eric and I were so blessed to meet you and I look forward to seeing you and Elise again.

  11. Elise M.
    June 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I am sorry to hear about your grandpa. But I am super excited for your news. I will be praying for your heart to heal.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      Thanks Elise. Hey, I’m finishing up our perogie party pictures so be looking for it soon!!!

  12. Sally
    June 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Oh Diana, My heart aches for you. This is your life right now (and for me, too): unspeakable sad and yet amazingly happy, all at the same time. I feel deeply for your grief, and yet I am thrilled for the new being that will enter your life. I know your grandpa will be looking after you, and he will always be in your heart. Big hugs and kisses and blessings to you both. XXOO Sally

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      Thank you so much Sally. I have to say that I’m so thankful that I’ve had this precious gift to focus on during this difficult time. It’s really helped me take better care of myself than I normally do during times of grief.

  13. Frantic Foodie
    June 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I am sorry for your loss. I am so excited for the baby part. Sending you lots of love.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Thanks Keren. Love that you figured it out BlogHer Food weekend!

  14. Susie McAllister
    June 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Diana and Eric: I am so very excited for you both as you start on the wonderful journey to parenthood. But I am very sorry you didn’t get to tell your grandpa in person. I know he shares in your joy though. And I keep thinking that when he arrived in Heaven, he must have been greeted by so many people that he brought to Jesus through his mission. What a celebration!
    Can’t wait to watch that little bump of yours grow. You will be so cute! I hope your sickness subsides very soon and you are back to cooking up lots of healthy recipes! Love you guys!

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Thanks so much Susie. I’ve been picturing the same joyful reunion and what a party they must be having up there! I was actually able to bake yesterday so I think I may be turning the corner. Lots of yummy recipes to come!

  15. Angie Johnson
    June 20, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Oh Diana,

    I had seen your post on FB and was overjoyed at your news. I had also seen your post about your grandfather’s passing and was saddened for you, especially as I just lost my grandpa and have been feeling the same heartache of missing him dearly.

    I had not connected the dots though to think of the bittersweet time you are going through with the joy and pain all at the same time. I suppose I can see another parallel though in that my grandpa also passed before meeting our sweet little Raimey and knowing that was on our schedule for this summer and will not come to pass makes my heart ache even more.

    Still, I stand in awe at the little life that we are enjoying here at home….and I can assure you that the joy will abound as your little one continues to grow and the pain begins to subside. Somehow the verse from Ecclesiastes 3:1 brings it home, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” and even more, Psalm 30:5b “…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

    I will be praying for you and Eric as your sadness is overcome by joy and you embrace the promise that you will be reunited with your grandfather someday and he will be ecstatic to meet his grandbaby he always asked for!

    Love and hugs to both of you,

    Angie J.

    • Diana
      June 27, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks Angie. Appreciate the encouragement. I’m excited that I’ll still be able to teach our children the legacy my grandfather left behind and what an incredible man he was.

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