Right Click Block

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sad Reality | The Girls' First Experience of the Death of a Loved One

Lilo passed away last month and it has been something that I wanted to talk about but just wasn't really sure how. I guess the "rip it off like a bandaid" version is that she had a stroke this summer and died suddenly about two months later from blood sugar complications.

One of the scariest moments of this year was calling the ambulance for the woman my girls' call Oma. 

I've really been feeling like I need to blog my farewell to her, in a way. I cannot imagine what it would have been like without her these past three and a half years. And there's a part of me that is having a hard time with the loss because I didn't really have a chance to say goodbye. I really miss her. 

She was 88 years old. There are so many questions I wish I'd asked her. So many selfies I'd wish I'd had the guts to take with her. There are so many meals I wish I'd taken to her. So many times I should have just let my kids go down and play at her apartment... completely ignoring the amount of sugar they would be consuming or my fears that they would be too much for her to handle.

We heard horrible rumors and experiences about "bad German landlords" ... imagine our surprise when we move into a house with a woman who brings presents to our girls for every birthday, Christmas, and Easter.

It was a hard few weeks for me after her stroke. The house felt so lonely. I thought about her so much. 88 years of a life. I wondered where in this house was her favorite place to enjoy the view. I wondered if she enjoyed the fireplace as much as I do. What she planted in her garden.

After she died it was even worse. It happened suddenly so no one got to say goodbye. And I thought of her everywhere I looked. "She hosted parties from this kitchen." "She laughed with her husband just like I'm doing out here on this patio." "She made this same walk out to this compost pile." Silly things. But real life things.

Otterberg was her home for many many years. And now it's my home. I think of her a lot as I walk around our village.

The funeral was awful but at the same time I'm so glad we were there. I feel closer to Diana and Elvira, Lilo's daughters, through this experience. And I know that it meant a lot to them that we were there.

Lily and Sam were so quiet and respectful at the funeral. It was hardest for Lily... she picks up on other people's emotions very quickly. The girls were able to say goodbye to Lilo's remains (yeah try explaining an urn to little ones) and I think it was healthy for them to have that closure, even if they only understand it in a limited way.

The next two years here are going to be very different without Oma. She will be missed. But we are so happy to have known her.  

TschΓΌss Oma! 

If you think of it please keep Dianna in your thoughts and prayers. She now has the difficult task of sorting through her mother's apartment and deciding if she's ready to rent it out or not. She doesn't live nearby so she's had to do a lot of traveling back and forth to wrap up Lilo's affairs and I'm sure it's taking quite a toll on her and her family. 


  1. I am glad that we had the opportunity to meet her and very glad that you all had an opportunity to get to know her. She certainly was a thoughtful and generous woman.
    Sorry for your loss, Jess.

    1. Thanks MIL. And you are so right, it was so awesome to know such a wonderful woman.

  2. I'm delayed in reading this - but it brought me to tears and I had to let you know that my heart breaks for you. Prayers for you, and Lil and Sam, and for Oma's daughters. She sounded like such a sweet, strong woman. I'm thankful you all had her as "your" Oma. *hug* Love you.

    1. Thanks for the condolences Em. It's been really hard. I don't even realize sometimes how not over it I am. Diana will be renting the apartment out soon and even that makes me sad! But we were blessed and have much to be thankful for.