Explaining to Matthew about Pop

It is never easy explaining certain things in life that we encounter. For us we wish things could always be the same as when we were little kids but that is not reality. What is harder is explaining these things to our children. My son has so many memories of Pop. Matty would always enjoy seeing Pop when he would stop by and spend time with him and take him for rides in his car. Pop was not only his grandfather but he was a special friend who would talk and listen to him. Pop took great joy in seeing him smile and playing games with him like cracking the egg on Matty’s head with his hands and making up words like eleventeen or twelveteen. He was like a big kid and he made Matty laugh. Pop would also make up jokes for Matty which would also make him laugh.

Matty would always treasure the times he got to spend with Pop and was sad when he would have to leave and he would give him a big hug and say goodbye or see you soon again.

During the holidays and birthdays Pop would always give Matty a special gift and money for his college fund. He would always say to listen to your mom and dad and be a good boy. Pop would always ask how was your day at school and if Matty did well he would get a 10 dollar bill for his bank.

The things we remember about Pop is that we would sometimes go to his apartment to visit him and Matty loved to visit Pop and play for a little while at his apartment and enjoy seeing me talk with my dad. We did not want Pop to feel all alone and felt good to spend time with him. We always enjoyed seeing his pictures on the wall and all his models. He was very talented and taught Matty about drawing and patience. He would sometimes take us to Dunkin’ Donuts to get some donuts or bagels and hot chocolate. Those were fun times.

I wish I could see Pop now so I could tell him how much I love him and miss him but at least I can see him at the cemetery to say hello and talk to him. When I first told Matthew about what happened to Pop he did not understand and believed that he was still ok and was on a vacation and he would be back soon. It took time but as the days and months passed Matty realized that Pop is in a special place in heaven with his wife. He prays for them both when we visit at the cemetery. He would also talk to Pop and my mother and say he loves them very much and asks how they are doing and they answer to him but really it’s him answering to himself.

I feel sad having to explain such a sad thing like this but as kids grow they must be respected and treated like anyone else and sometimes we have to share the truth no matter how painful it might be. Matthew understands and we let him express how he feels through his writing and his drawings. He always draws pictures of him and Pop when they would be together playing games.

When we go to the cemetery we usually put out flowers and leave a stone on the grave stone. We also go to visit cousin Timmy who died at birth and is burried in the babies section. It is so very sad to see all the little baby head stones and reading their inscriptions. All I can think about are the poor parents who had to bury their little babies and it breaks my heart. As we walk through that section and see the angel looking over their graves and see all the little toys left there it makes me think how lucky I am to have my son. Matty holds my hand and asks me why did these little ones have to die and I get all choked up and say God called for them because they are special. It makes Matty want to cry when he sees all those baby gravestones. For Matty it is important to leave cousin Timmy one of his toy cars so he knows we came to visit. He sometimes calls cousin Timmy Little Tiny Tim.

As we prepare to leave I notice a grave stone for a little baby girl that reads as follows “To our precious little angel we touched you for a moment yet you touched us forever” and I just started to cry and held my son and walked back to our car. It was a very sad and emotional moment and I could not fully grasp such tragedy when it comes to little babies.

We all know that we are here for a shortwhile and we must look upon each day as a special gift and are so grateful to be surrounded by family and loved ones. As death is part of life we must fully accept it and learn to move on in respect of our dearly departed.

Edward D. Iannielli III
Helped by Matthew Iannielli

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