There are so many things that life never prepares you for, and the hardest one, in my opinion, is losing someone close to you. It could be a breakup, friends growing apart, and of course someone passing on. Each time it hurts, perhaps in different ways, but there is always a similar pain that takes hold, a hollow space that forms, a part of you that unravels and is never the same again.
I am no stranger to it. When I was a very tender age, I lost my grandfather, someone who meant the world to me. I quickly realized how someone so important in one’s life could just somehow be gone, without a goodbye, without an explanation. How everyone around you is quick to give you all of the cliche sayings, “he’s in a better place now,” or “it will get better and you won’t hurt anymore,” or my personal favorite “He will always be with you.” I’ve struggled with these platitudes ever since. I have no proof that he is in a better place, or that he is somewhere at all. 20 something years later, it still hurts all the time, and I am not so sure it became better at all, that hole is still there, that emptiness still exists. Lastly, he is not always with me. I cannot call him up and ask him for advice, like I should be able to. I don’t have a plethora of things he shared with me, or passed down to me, because he wasn’t there to do so. He should have been, but he wasn’t. The harsh reality is, there is no complete or correct way to deal with death.
Out of most of my friends I am the odd man out, because all of my grandparents are dead. There was just a blurry series of each of them passing, and what seemed to be most important to my family at these sombering moments, was greed. What would they get? How much was left to them? As well as the biggest question, how could they get more? It was disgusting to watch as teenager and as an adult. It’s like the lives of those we lost were meaningless, and the only important thing was always material.
Thankfully, it is not always like this for everyone.
My best friend when I was 14, introduced me to her family. Her siblings became like my siblings, her parents like my parents, and her grandparents, like my grandparents. We used to joke that they were my adoptive family, my second family. I have always felt this strong closeness with them, whenever I get the opportunity to hang out with them. They have always been so accepting of me, and somehow, I sort of fit into their mix, and I have always loved that. They were the family who like everyone, had their struggles and problems, but I have never met a family more loving. They had an atmosphere that was almost unheard of to me. On the weekends, everyone wanted to be home with each other, it was a chore free couple of days, there were games, movies, shows, sometimes we all went out. Mostly, it was always fun and filled with love.
Holidays were no different, the parents and grandparents always went all out, they never got tired of it, because they enjoyed the joy it brought everyone, the smiles, the laughter, the hugs. We did so many holiday activities together, even if we were old enough as kids to know that the Easter Bunny didn’t exist. Everyone always seemed to have a truly, almost magical, time. Every one of them was and is very special to me.
Yesterday, something very tragic happened, their Grandma passed away from a very sudden battle of cancer. The words, are difficult to find. It has been quite awhile since I last saw her, but that does not make her any less important to me, or change the way that she made me feel.
Grandma was very special to all of us, Her intelligence and wisdom was always astounding, and she seemed to have a knack for knowing what would happen. She was always very interested in each of her grandchildren, and their friends. Family was most important to her, and no matter what her views were, or what trends we followed, she always seemed to be just as accepting, and loving to each of us. She embraced people of good character, she gave advice that each of us will always treasure, she always spoke her mind, and it was because she always had something to back it up with. She made us laugh so hard, it was almost impossible not to wet yourself. She went above and beyond to be there for everyone.
I think she really was the world’s best grandma, and she was an individual so unique, it would be impossible to ever find someone like her. No one was really able to say goodbye the way that they wanted to, and it was simply heartbreaking. The family is not interested in what they will be getting out of her, all they care about is the hole that they feel inside, the pain and agony that everyone is now suffering. The world lost someone so special, and the only thought on everyone’s mind, is how they can best honor her. I don’t have much, but as a writer I will always have my words.
She will be missed, and the world feels much different without her. I hope that she rests in peace, and that everyone she loved will be able to find their peace in the hard days to come.