Coco’s Love Letter

My greatest challenge of late with the kids being so far away, is feeling connected to them.  I don’t get to hear them call me “Grandma” every day.  I see a counselor to help me try to make sense of how to live with their absence from my daily life.  She referred to it as “ambiguous grief or ambiguous loss”; it occurs when there is a physical loss and a [continued] psychological presence.

For many people who’ve known me for any period of time, I’m not a huge fan of ambiguity.  I can live with some of the gray areas life throws my way.  When I’m at work or coaching someone through a life change, I champion the mantra: trust the process.  “It will all work out” I tell my teams and my boss.

In my own case, in the case of daily caring for grandchildren for more than a year and half, to having them be 2,500 miles away with limited, if any contact; it’s almost impossible to trust the process.  You see I don’t really like surprises, I like to know what’s coming next.  I never really enjoyed playing hide ‘n seek as a kid because someone was going to jump out at me. I didn’t like the Haunted House ride at Rocky Point–it was dark and the car would whip around a corner and through a door to who-knows-what.  Once on a trip to DC I wouldn’t go down the escalator to the Metro because I couldn’t see where the escalator stairs stopped.

When I looked up synonyms for ambiguous here’s what I found:  vague, unclear, uncertain, indefinite, confusing, hazy, wooly.  There have most certainly been days that I’ve felt each of those things over the last year.  It turns out that the ambiguity comes from the fact that I don’t know when I will see the kids again and I’m not sure how they are feeling about being where they are–do they miss us?

As in any good counseling session, recently, I drilled down deeper into the gray area. It turns out what I miss is feeling connected to them and knowing that they feel connected to me.  In the session I was reminded of how I may not know daily how they are feeling or if they know I think of them in practically all of my spare moments.  But every day since it came in the mail, I am able to look at the little note hanging on the wall next to my bed.  The two-word note, mailed in an envelope, with the address written in pencil, and a stamp drawn on the front.

 Coco Love

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