My sweet, precious grandpa passed away two months ago. For those who don’t know, we were best friends, and he held a big piece of my heart, and I’ve always held a big piece of his in mine. Losing him has been one of the most painful and difficult experiences I’ve been through, and I still often cry thinking about him. Every single day I think about how lucky we were to have him for 89 years, but it never would have been long enough. Spending time with those you love is never long enough. All the memories, photos and videos are a constant reminder of his love, laughter, gentle heart and kind spirit. His smile is a vision in my mind that will never fade.
Grief is so hard. Though I tried to prepare myself for the moment he’d pass away, I was never going to be ready. Loss is so difficult, and so permanent. One minute, life is what you know it to be, and the next your world is turned upside down. Everyone deals with grief and loss differently, and I’ve learned we all need to express it in our own ways. Some people need to be alone, and some need to be with people. Sometimes you need to go sit in a room and cry it out, and that’s ok. There isn’t one way to deal with loss, and there isn’t one right way to feel. Though it’s only been two months, I’ve learned that letting myself cry it out is ok, because that’s what I need to cope and heal.
Thinking of happy memories helps with healing. Thinking about his smile, his laugh, his precious wave and hugs help me remember to focus on his love, rather than the loss. Thinking about stories of us hiking, golfing, camping and watching Bob Hope movies bring a smile to my face and helps me remember the memories and love we shared is what lives on forever. The one’s we love live on in different ways, and they are always with us.
If there’s one big thing I’ve learned during these two months, it’s that those we love are never far from us. They are closer than we think. They are always watching over us, protecting us and leading us through the journey of life. They have the best seat in the house to watch us grow and live, and their memories and love are what keep us going. I feel my grandpa every single day, and I know he isn’t far from any of us. And you better believe he’ll be at our wedding, just not in the way I initially expected. But, this is life, and we need to keep living.
For those of you going through a time of loss, remember you’re not alone. Also, remember how much love those people filled your life with and how that love lives on forever within you.
I’m grateful for the legacy my grandpa left behind and for the love he filled all of our lives with. That love will never go away, and neither will the image of his precious smile in my mind.