A whole lot of grief on Feb 6


February 7, 2014 by Terumi

I used to think that after years of missing someone the pain of missing them would just go away.  Or maybe if I got grown up enough, somehow I’d learn to deal with sad things and maybe they wouldn’t hurt anymore.


But the more I grow up I realize that life’s not like that.

And I never thought I’d want to remember such a horrible day, but that was her last day and the closest day we have to her. And even if I try to ignore it, it haunts me and I wish somehow we could rewind back till her last breath and catch it for her and hold her here. So there’s no use.  The day comes up on the calendar and I remember.  I can’t forget it even if I try.

So today I let myself miss her, my dear Bachan who we lost in a horrible tragedy years ago; my sweet grandma who I adored and wish my kids could have met.


She was truly everything sweet and feisty, curious and playful, all rolled up into the dearest face I could ever imagine and when I play forts with my guys or bake with them I sometimes find myself thinking of her and it makes me happy.  She had an amazingly childish joie de vivre and I think that’s what I loved most about her.  When I was young, I felt like she truly understood my soul.

But because of her I don’t know how to teach my guys about getting over heartbreak and I am wondering more and more if that’s something we really need to learn.  Do kids need to learn about grief or do they just learn by living?  I don’t wallow in my own grief, but I do let my heart seams tear open a little bit today as I hug my family, bundle up warm, eat some sweets and send some thankful wishes out into the universe and let myself have a good cry.


My dear sweet beautiful Bachan. You are missed. You are loved. And you are not forgotten.  And I hope that by living this day in this way I don’t feel like I’ve lost you forever.

(PS. how do we teach our kids about grief?  How do we even start?  I recently had a chat with friends about crying in front of our kids.  Do we do it?  Do we not?  Do we address the issue or just hide it away?  Would love to hear what you do….)


  1. Melissa says:

    Tears streaming down my face 🙁
    Beautifully written and I’m sure she’s watching down on you and your littles from Heaven.

  2. fran says:

    I miss her, too.

  3. andrea says:

    Aw, big hugs. We talk often about our grandmothers, and how we miss them, but that they are always in our heart, and always watching over us. I am sure she is doing the same for all of you!

  4. majl says:

    It’s my heart. My heart, my heart.
    This grief will be carried forever. It’s manageable now, isn’t it, but it never goes away.
    I appreciate books that let me hug my grief, cry it out, and then put it back on a shelf of my heart for another time. Try, “The Heart and the Bottle” by Oliver Jeffers. A very powerful picture book- for children, but really for all.
    Love, love, love.

    • Terumi says:

      Oh I hear you sis:( I love Oliver Jeffers so I’ll totally order this book! So lucky to have you in my life xoxo

  5. Sal says:

    Beautifully written, and so true. I am so often filled with thoughts of Bachan, particularly during those joyful times in my life…beautiful sunny days, family dinners, birthdays… When I see your sweet boys I can’ t help but think about how much she would have enjoyed spending time with them, and how proud she would be to see the amazing mom that you have become.

    • Terumi says:

      Auntie Sal, thank you! I love that when we think of her, it is in happy times:) We are lucky and lots of love your way too:)

  6. A beautiful, poignant, raw piece that tore at my heartstrings. Jichan and I waited for the weather to warm up on Thursday and went to her gravesite to place a wreath and some flowers. I tried not to cry, but now, reading this, I can not help but let the heavens open up (even at 55 1/2 it still hurts)…

    You’re right – never forgotten, always in our hearts – embodied in our day to day lives, and I’d like to think that she is watching. I said to Jichan as we drove home: “…she would have been proud of those two little great grandsons…and the six grandchildren who have grown into wonderful young men and women…” He said, “Yes-the six grandchildren and the two little ones…” (unsaid: She would have loved them to bits…). Thanks, Terumi, for allowing us to remember her, and to take a moment to reflect and remember. xoxo

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Terumi-author of An Emerald City Life

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