The other day I sat in my car for 15 minutes in the parking garage at work before heading inside to start my day. I had ‘Amnesia’ by 5 Seconds of Summer playing on my radio. I had my chair leaning back slightly and a few tears in my eyes.. it’s almost been a year since she left this Earth & became my second and most precious angel that looks over me.
There is life after death… You just have to allow yourself to find it.
Death is never easy, no matter what the circumstances & no matter how strong you are, it breaks you. Death intervenes with your plans, it turns your world upside down, it creates a hole in your life where that person once was and you have to keep living – that’s what hurts the most. They aren’t here but you still are.
“The hardest part wasn’t losing you, it was learning to live without you”
You begin to think back to every experience, every moment that you could’ve visited but decided to go out with friends instead. You imagine that if you would’ve just set your alarm a little earlier and made yourself get out of bed you could’ve at least said goodbye.. as if that would’ve made it any easier. You tear apart each and every instance of what you could’ve done differently and wish that you could change it in that very moment as if it would make a difference. While doing that, you destroy yourself.. you only make it worse.. you can’t allow yourself to go there. That’s where I allowed myself to go.. and even find myself there sometimes, too. In a very dark place.
Death is everywhere. It’s a way of life, there’s no way to escape it. I lost my great-grandmother at a very young age. I bawled my eyes out at her funeral even though I never got the chance to really know her. I found out at the age of 11, my biological father passed away when my mom was 6 months pregnant with me. I can’t really tell you how I even managed to process that. But this death, the death of my grandma, the sweet, vibrant old lady who I grew up with and couldn’t stand to be without. (I mean after all, I spent every summer, just me, not my sisters, in Hilton Head, South Carolina with my grandparents. All summer.) This death.. turned my world upside down.
You have a picture of what life is going to be like when you get married, start a family and what I pictured was destroyed when we lost my grandma. I think along with her not being around to laugh at/with, joke with, mess around with, it’s even harder to know that she won’t be around for important milestones like graduating college and starting a family.
But throughout everything, I’ve maintained a strong face and made sure that my grandfather is taken care of. They were married 50 years, together 55 years. That’s almost unheard of in today’s society since marriage and divorce are commonplace. They were from a generation where you didn’t just give up, you fought, you went through hardships together and you worked on your marriage every single day. Their life wasn’t perfect, I witnessed them fight and argue just like my parents would and they would say things that I couldn’t believe I heard but the next day, it was all back to normal. They were a unit, stronger together than apart and they loved each other so deeply. I knew it, they knew it, we all knew it. But you can’t erase the look on your grandfather’s face as he mourns the loss of his wife of 55 years. He cried at her funeral, after 25 years on this Earth I’ve never seen him cry until that very day. It was heartbreaking. He was lost, and sometimes he still seems to be.
I’ve learned many things in almost a year that she’s been gone about the world, the people in it and mostly, myself. I’ve learned that yet again, I’ve proven that I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was, I even surprise myself sometimes but that doesn’t mean I still don’t have my moments where I get a tear in my eye all of a sudden or something random just throws my body into a state of pure emotion. I got married and I’m sharing every aspect of my life with someone and I think back to having mnay conversations with my grandma about marriage, life and kids. My husband and I have learned a lot about each other, our lives before one another and we have taught each other a few things too. My granddad is starting to open his eyes to the truth and see all the lies and deceit that has been upon him for years and for once, he feels safe and taken care of because of me and my sister. He’s starting to see that he can live his life but it doesn’t make it any easier, he misses grandma and hears/sees her from time to time but that’s okay too. The most important thing is that you can’t just stop living your life. You’re allowed to have your weak days, your emotional days, the days where you don’t really feel like doing much but lying around but you still must push forward. You live a life that you’re proud of you, I’ll live a life that I know my grandma would be proud of even though she already was sooo proud of me even when I feel like I didn’t deserve it. I’ll live every moment always knowing that she is beside me, watching over me and celebrating with me when the moment calls for it. I know when I’m taking shots and dancing that before I got to that moment and was getting ready to leave the house, she would always be the one to tell me to wait on her, she was getting dressed and coming with me and my friends. & she always knew how to have a good time.
Most of all, she was the light surrounding our lives. Her embrace, her smile, her laughter, her jokes, her sailors mouth, just her presence was always so welcoming. I’ve never met anyone like her and I know that I never will, she is truly one of a kind. The day we lost her, the light dimmed immensely but it’s about the time that I need to find it once again.
I love you grandma. Not a day goes by that we don’t think about you. Granddad will be taken care of, don’t you worry. ❤