Seven years ago today our sweet granddaughter, Sophia Jayne, died unexpectedly in her sleep. She was a beautiful, healthy baby and her death has left a hole in the fabric of our family, as well as in our hearts.
Katrena was only three and a half then but remembers her sister like it was yesterday. Initially, she repeatedly complained, “The policeman and ambulance man came and took my sister and I want them to bring her back.” It was hard for her to understand they had taken her to the hospital to help her.
Later, when she was upset by rules that forbid her from doing something she would respond, “That’s it! I’m going to heaven and live with Sophia.”It was a painful threat. I explained why that was impossible and how hurtful that statement was to everyone who loved her. I can’t judge her too much because, to be perfectly honest, sometimes the craziness of my life and this world, in general, makes an escape to paradise tempting.
Seven years have flown by, but our loss of Sophia continues to be painfully present to Katrena. Her acute sense of loss is reflected in her behavior and struggles with needing to have control in her life. I have learned that each person is affected differently by the loss of a loved one and children feel the loss as intensely as adults. No one can tell a person how long to mourn, especially a child.
Today the heavy snow and unplowed cemetery roads will prevent us from visiting Sophia’s gravesite, but we will take the time to remember her sweetness and our sadness. We will never forget her and how much fun Katrena and Isaac would be having playing with their seven-year-old sister.