This weekend we traveled up to New Hampshire (an 8 hr round trip from our home in CT) to lay to rest my husband's grandfather.  This was an awkward trip for me because I was torn.  I was torn between my husband's history and feelings of his grandfather and his cousin's feelings for him.  See Papa Hunt did not have that storybook grandparent relationship with his paternal grandparents....he quiet honestly did not have a relationship with them.  There are a thousand reasons why...no of which are really mine to tell...but they are valid reasons.  On the other hand my hubby's female cousins did have a storybook relationship with their grandfather.  For him, the sun rose and set on his granddaughters and he cherished them with love, affection, and praise.  He was the kind of grandfather that I had...the kind I miss every day when I see my dad with my kids and think about how much my grandfather would have loved my kids.  I am getting emotional just thinking about it.  

For my husband, his grandfathers death has been hard because he isn't really grieving for the relationship and love that is lost....but really for what was never there.  Add to that he hears his cousins discussing what a great and loving man he was to them, how he stepped up and took the male role in their lives when their own father died when they were younger.  For him it is hard to wrap his mind around how they loved him so much and had an amazing relationship with his grandfather that he and his brother didn't. So this weekend was more of a familial obligation for him and his brother...and to be there for their father who was close to his dad.  For them there wasn't sadness for anything more than what could have been.  My hubs does not understand why I cried like a baby at the burial...during taps and watching the honor guard fold his flag.  He doesn't get why I whisper words of comfort and give huge hugs to his cousins...well at some level he does but he sees it as me being fake because I obviously did not have a relationship with his grandfather.  

I am not being fake, I know what it is like to say goodbye to a grandparent like him...to never be as so loved by one person in your whole life.  It wasn't until I had kids that I felt so  loved as I did by my grandfather.  I am not being fake because the tears I cry are for my husband who has been so hurt by a lack of relationship with his grandparents that he couldn't see what I did.  I saw a man who always believed that men are men (strong manly men who don't show affection and who take care of their women).  I saw a man who knew his granddaughters needed doting on, but whose true pride came from his grandsons.  When he would introduce his grandchildren his granddaughters were introduced as pretty or beautiful or nice...his grandsons were introduced by their colleges and later by their careers.  He was clearly proud of his grandsons but in typical old school man fashion he never spoke about his pride in them or his love for them.  

So when I cried at his burial this weekend it wasn't fake it was tears for his cousins for what they lost, tears for my hubby and what he never was able to have with his grandfather, but more than than it was tears for all the I love you's and all the I am proud of you's that were never said and could have made a world of difference in two boys lives...because I know what it means to have a grandparent tell you those things every day.  It was bliss.  And for that is what I was mourning for....for his cousins who now must live without that bliss and for my husband and his brother who never knew it.   
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