The grandmother of one of Rooster's daycare friends passed away a few mornings ago.
Rooster's friend has two older brothers - one is nine and the other is twelve.
Until about six months ago, their grandmother was actively involved in this family's lives, regularly taking the kids to the zoo and often out to dinner.
When I picked up Roo today, I stood in the play yard talking with the children's mother.
We talked about her husbands grief and the way grief just goes on and on, coming and going like the ebb and flow of ocean waves, rising and falling.
We talked about how her children were reacting to the news. She thought maybe it hadn't fully hit them yet... or that maybe it had.
The nine year old keeps asking not to talk about it.
How we hide from hurtful things.
Talking about her children's reaction to the death of their grandmother made me remember my own first memory of death, the moment I understood the idea that someone I loved could die, was dead.
I was nine.
My mother called me into her room in our house on Farewell Road in Columbia, Maryland.
She told me that my Pop, my Father's Father, passed away.
The next moment is such a vivid memory for me.
A huge grin spread across my face.
I was old enough to feel ashamed of that, knowing it wasn't the right response, but perhaps not old enough to know the right way to respond.
When we went to my the funeral, Pop's body rested in an open casket.
I remember playing with my cousins among the mourner's chairs.
Eventually, one of my parents took me to stand beside the casket and say a final goodbye.
Maybe it was my Dad.
He might have given the waxy face, that looked like Pop but wasn't, a kiss.
I might have said Goodbye, I don't know.
The next thing I remember is my Grandmother finding me under the sink in the ladies room crying and crying.
That was the moment I understood.