Wednesday, April 25, 2012



It happens to everyone. I remember when I went through the first death in my family. It was my grandfather. Not only was I close to him but he raised me and my older brother while my parents were at work. I read a post by a old friend on FB today and she had lost someone (all I'm going to say. I don't feel comfortable saying anything else. I need to respect her.). It broke my heart and reminded me how precious life is. I remember my grandpa's death as if it were yesterday. It haunts me every January. It's a song that just wont leave your head and you can't stop singing it.

My grandpa was a very special, kind person. He had been awarded a purple heart in WW2 and helped my parents out with us while they worked hard, saving what little money they had so we could have a good childhood. One stress-free and magical. He was creative. Always building new things out of wood, fixing things we broke and always made me the best gifts. My two fondest gifts were a handcrafted (he made it himself) pink and white doll carriage with horse and a the most beautiful doll house, the wooden kind that were expensive. He and my mother found it at a Goodwell. It was the last gift he gave me. Sadly most of it started falling apart before he passed. I still have it, a project I'll save for my own children one day.

It all started with one phone call. No one normally called in the dead of night. It turned out my grandfather woke up with trouble breathing. That was the first time he went to the hospital. We were worried but there was no sign of death slowly inching it's way closer. He had been a smoker. His heart was effected. He was fine for a while until December. He was sent to the hospital by ambulance. I found out from another early morning call. This time I was awoken by my dad.

The firs time I saw him in a hospital bed felt horrible. I almost passed out. But he was alive. That was all that matter. Then...I was warned he might be dying. I was forced to go to school. And was soon called out. I remember another student saying "lucky" as I left. I wasn't lucky. That was Jan.9th. We picked up my cousin, Jon and my brother. My dad drove us, everyone quiet to the hospital. The same hospital I had been born in.

I was listening to Green Day. The drive had never seemed so long. When we got there we walked into a room full of family. My mom had ridden in the ambulance with my grandmother and grandfather. We were all watchful. But then my mom pulled me from the crowd and led me to his side.

I love you.

Were his last words to me. The hand he held was the hand in which was attached to the wrist I used to cut on. I had never felt guiltier knowing I had fresh wounds on my wrist while he held on so tightly to my hand. I had started to choke up and never got to tell him I loved him too. The night seemed so long. We went in and out of the room. I fell asleep in the waiting room where Uncle had also fallen asleep. By the time I woke up it was one and he was still alive. But he was sleeping. My dad finally decided it was best to take my brother and me home. He didn't want us seeing our grandfather die.

Although I had already felt like I had. It was five (I think) when my mom called. He was gone. He finally let go and passed away on January 10th. It was the first death I had ever been though. And it couldn't have happened at a worst time. I was depressed, bullied by my whole class. I lost my closet friends at my old school. I was wrecked. I learned how to fake a smile, to fake a laugh. I fooled a lot of people. His death hurt. He was such a great man. I wanted him to be there for my wedding, to meet the man who I'm deeply in love with. To stand by him and chat about the rain.

That same year I lost my best friend. A cat named Homer. I was alone. I had lost myself. I faced more deaths. But the one that impacted my life the most was the little girl I learned about when I was in sixth grade. I was thirteen. This scene is perfectly remembered in my mind. My grandpa had just dropped us off at our new house, my mom had just gotten off work and was in her room watching a LifeTime movie.

The movie was about a woman who lost her baby. My brother said "How would you know what that's like?" And to our surprise she said "Because I lost a baby." A sad story unraveled so quickly I felt numb. Too young to really understand. It didn't impact me.

Heather was born in Augusta and died a week later. She had been my parent's first child and my eldest sibling. I just never knew about her. She was born healthy. She wasn't a still born or had some sort of medical problem. She was beautiful. My mom took us to our grandparents house and showed us the pictures as proof.

  We look so much alike. Our lips are small and our eyes the same shape and color (blue-gray) even our noses are the same. I never understood why my parents were so overly protective. But when they told me that. Everything made sense. But the thing that made me sick was the fact no one had visited her grave in years. She was kept a secret. I hated that. It was around eighth grade when I started wanting to see her grave. To visit her, introduce myself as her sister. To make everything real.

She didn't really seem real to me until my great grandmother died. She was buried in the same cemetery as my sister. When everyone left we stayed a bit longer to search for her. We didn't find her. After that I went on my own searches, trying to find her before her birthday. But we were never able to. To this day I haven't been able to find that little grave. The one I so badly wanted to place pink roses on.

She's my light when the world is dark. I used to say that I was living for her. But then I realized that was just an excuse. I love her. Someday I'll be able to find her and visit her grave. All this talk about death is like a huge release for me. It hurts holding it in. But no one really understands my pain. At least that's what I thought until I met Nic. He lost his father and never questioned my drive for finding my sister's grave. He's become my light.

Death happens to everyone. The best thing to do is be open about it. Letting things dig deep into you and settling to the bottom of your heart hurts. It kills you inside. It did to me. I should have pushed my mom to get me someone to talk to. This girl on FB is brave. She's open about her worries. And I think it's time for me to be open about mine. I'm going to be open about my anxiety.

Stay strong. Whether it's a death of a animal or a family member or friend, stay strong. You can get though it. Just try. Remind yourself of the good times. Like when me and my grandfather stood and talked about rain. It was a memory only me and him shared. I keep it dear.

Strong strong, be brave. Be hopeful.


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