- "Grandma died. She sleep."
- "Grandpa misses grandma."
- "We won't see grandma anymore. Her body stopped working."
Except for today, when she brought all this up in the car on the way to the grocery store. She asked something about it, and I tried to explain to her as I always do the meaning of "grandma died," following the best of the advice I was able to find on how to talk about these things with a toddler - how she's not sleeping, how she got old and sick and her body stopped working and she had to go away and we can't see her anymore. Which she usually accepts without much comment.
Until today, when she decided this meant that maybe Grandma had run away. Like Harry the Dirty Dog, she informed me.
She hasn't seemed sad or outwardly upset, but she certainly knows something big happened and that mama is sad. (The same books and web sites said I should not hide my sadness, which is good since I just really can't.) She's having a terrible time sleeping, which might be a coincidence but might be related. And when I mistakenly said we were going over to "Grandma and Grandpa's house" yesterday afternoon she got SO EXCITED to see Grandma again and my heart just almost broke. I corrected myself immediately but her little face fell for just a second, and then she pulled herself together.
She had all these routines with Grandma over at the house, most involving long sessions of loud and crazy peekaboo games played around the hall doorway with Grandma in the living room. Yesterday when we went over to see Dad she halfheartedly tried to play these a few times but then gave up. It's just not the same with the two of us.