Happy For Life

Ricki Stahl and granddaughter Kaitlin at her high school graduation in 2011.

I know I’ve been using this blog for personal stories a lot this past week. I promise we will be getting back to the business of heat printing very soon. I am in the process of updating lists of things you can do with a heat press, exploring the Magic with Heat Printing theme we started at the SGIA Expo at the beginning of the month. But since we don’t have my mother’s memorial website up and running yet, there are still a few more things I wanted to share. Like I mentioned yesterday, my kids were great with expressing themselves on the loss of their grandmother and I have shared one poem. Here is something my youngest daughter Kaitlin wrote on the plane home from college while she was coming back to Michigan for her grandmother’s memorial service. She read it at the church this past Saturday. Thank you Kaitlin, and don’t worry, I am doing fine.

You always hear the saying that you never truly appreciate something until it’s gone. I’ve always thought that you would finally understand how important the thing you lost was based on how sad you were or how much you cried when you lost it. I was wrong.

You shouldn’t be sad that you lost something, but instead happy that you had it.

My grandma loved life and the people around her, so I think she would want people to celebrate instead of mourn; celebrate that someone as special and beautiful as her graced us with her presence for as long as she did.

In fact, she’s still present. Not just spiritually by watching us from heaven, but also in our memories, hearts, and in every single way she’s touched us.

I’ve only cried twice since finding out. Once when talking to my mom, and once when talking to my dad. This was probably because I could hear the pain in their voices and wished nothing more than to be there to help them.

I remember the question that I kept asking my dad was, “Dad, are you okay?” There was no answer. He was silent.

I asked because I knew it was what my grandma would want, for her sons to be okay.

I don’t know if not crying is a bad thing or not.

Maybe her death just hasn’t hit me yet, but I feel like the real reason is because her presence is still here. She’s always with me so I don’t think she’ll ever be gone to me.

I will feel her when I play scrabble, do puzzles in the newspaper, put gravy on my food, play with the puppy she gave me, or even just when I look in the mirror, because I sincerely hope I have inherited some of her traits–her ambition and devotion, thoughtfulness and caring, and her creativity and love.

She was truly an amazing person and I hope that I appreciated her enough while she was here. The most important lesson I learned from her passing is that we should not be sad for death but instead happy for life.

Kaitlin Stahl

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