Dear Granny…

Dear Granny,

I can’t believe it’s been 18 months. May is Mother’s Day and your birthday, so, it’s safe to say you’ll be on our minds even more than usual this month. I see things everywhere that remind me of you: a cookie jar, a bright yellow dress, a particularly mischievous sparkle in my four year old’s eyes.

You were the brightest light I’ve ever met, and it seems so surreal that it was even possible for you to go. Sometimes, I even forget. I find myself wanting to tell you something, or ask you something, before my brain fully registers that I can’t.

I want to tell you when I find a new treasure on our genealogy search. I want to tell you about how teaching Jack to ride his bike brings back memories for me of you teaching me in your front yard: memories so vivid that I can even smell the leaves. I want to share Caroline’s ballet performance, and Jack’s piano recital, and for you to see how much of a little fish Ian is now in the pool.

Caroline reminds me so much of you. She’s only four but she already has your humor and your sass down pat. Someone asked me the other day what my hopes were for my kids, and my mind immediately went to you. You are the only person I have ever met who could love anyone, truly love them, from the moment you met them. I want them to have your acceptance, your good humor, your curiosity, your light. I want them to have the courage that it took for you to stand up for love and run away with Granddaddy to start the life that your heart sought, the perseverance you had to teach yourself your own education and get that GED at age 40, the amazing strength and patience that you showed raising 9 children and fostering 51 more, and last but not least, the sharpness it took to remember every single one of those birthdays and anniversaries until the day you died.

To say we miss you just falls so short. But, we take comfort in knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that the world is not a dimmer place today because we are missing your light. The world itself burns so much brighter for you having been here.

Happy birthday, Granny. We love you so much.


If your heart is heavy with loss this month, please join me in writing a letter to your loved one. You might be surprised how much healing it brings. Feel silly? Don’t know where to start? Just start with “I miss you” and see where it flows. You can burn the letter or bring it to the gardens at Darst Funeral Home where we have a little “mailbox to heaven” set up under the gazebo. The letters in the mailbox are respectfully sent back to the earth through creating mulch to nurture the flowers that are here to give the others who walk this road behind you some peace.  You can reach us anytime at 281-312-5656 or visit us at 796 Russell Palmer Road.

Erin Hein is the daughter of John and Anne Darst of Darst Funeral Home. She lives in Kingwood with her children Jack (7), Caroline (4), and Ian (2).