Tag Archives: expected grief

Grief: Expected and Unexpected (Thoughts From a 10-Year-Old)

by Xander

Personally, I think this is a lot for a person to handle. Having lost my brother, Theodore James Rhynold, and my Nana, Susan, me and my family have been going through a lot. One thing I have learned is that there is actually a very big difference between expected grief and unexpected grief. I lost my Nana to cancer on November 3rd, 2013, and my brother Theo for unknown reasons on February 3rd, 2014, exactly 3 months later. Losing my Nana was especially hard because she was a person who had always been there in hard times, and she died 3 days before my 10th birthday. I also found losing Theo equally as hard because I was already in rough shape from losing my Nana, and he was supposed to be our little bit of joy after losing Nana. My mom remembers one of the last things she ever said being “I can’t wait to meet Theo.” I am surprised that she got to meet him so shortly afterwards, in heaven.

One thing I will always remember Theo by is the joy he brought us when my mom was pregnant with him. It is especially easy to remember my Nana is by all of the people she helped along the course of her life. Having worked at a high school, she was able to help many people, maybe by encouraging them, maybe by helping them in hard times, and maybe just by being there to give that helping hand. (She did similar things at the ATA, where she was referred to as The ATA Mom.)

I know it is especially hard for my little sister, Genevieve, because she doesn’t quite understand. She sometimes asks me if we can play with Nana, or go visit Theo. (who she likes to call Baby Theodore. My friends and I used to wonder how long after he was born she would still call him that.) I always tell her that they are in Heaven, which she understands quite well. To her, Heaven means that we can’t see them anymore. It is sad, but when we have each other to get through it for, we can.

Also read The White Circle: A Dad’s Perspective
“Where is Baby Theo?” and other questions asked by my 2-year-old