Three Years Gone By


I spent this morning’s commute trying to explain to my sons the concept of death.

Search: Mommy, why did Cooper have to die?

Me: He was very old and sick, sweetie. He didn’t want to be in pain anymore.

Search: I miss him.

Me: Me too, buddy. Me too.

Search: I want him to come back. When can he come back? He was my friend.

Me: Oh sweetie, I know you loved him. But he’s not coming back.

Search: He went to the doctor. Wasn’t the doctor supposed to make him better?

Me: Sometimes the doctor’s can’t help. And Cooper had to go to heaven. I’m sure he’s very happy there with lots of doggie friends. Because all dogs go to heaven.

Search: Did Daddy take him?

Me: No, unfortunately no one can go with you there.

Search: He had to go by himself?

Me: Just his spirit went. And all other loved ones already there were waiting to welcome him with a tennis ball.

Search: Mommy, I love Cooper. I really need to hug him again.

Me: Oh honey, I know. Even though we can’t hug him, we can remember him.

Search: How do we do that?

Me: We can tell happy stories about the times we did get to hug him.

Search: Can we do that after school? And can you show me pictures of him?

Me: Of course. As soon as we get home.

It’s been three years today since Grandma Winnie left us. And as I held the above conversation with my 4-year-old, Grandma Winnie’s namesake no less, I smiled.

I don’t know that I believe in heaven or any kind of conscious afterlife. But I do believe that our spirits live on in the memories we leave behind.

So while pictures of a yellow puppy await me this evening – alongside the tales of his hilarious hijinks – please join me in remembering Great Grandma Winnie.

I miss you.






Grandma Winnie was never a huge fan of dogs. She told me on several occasions she just couldn’t let herself get too attached just to lose then so soon.

If there is a near wild heaven, I hope she’s found an eternal best friend.

1 Comment

Filed under Angels, Family Stories

One Response to Three Years Gone By

  1. Nancy Welker Caracciolo

    Great pics – thanks for sharing. I too, am missing her greatly and posted one of her favorite songs “Over the Rainbow” by IZ in tribute. Try to get out and enjoy the sun in her memory as well.

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