4 years ago I received the most devastating phone call. It was my dad, calling to break the news that my beloved grandmother had passed away suddenly from a heart attack. To this day, I still get nervous when my dad or mom call me randomly. My grandmother, or Mamaw as I called her, had the biggest heart and was my best friend. My favorite stories are those that involve me chasing after her barefoot in the snow but by far my favorite memories are the ones of us spending lazy West Virginia summer days snapping green beans on the porch.
With each year that goes by, I am always sad when this day or her birthday roll around. But this time, it’s been especially tough. I find myself wishing for MORE. More pictures, more memories, more time. I find myself wondering what she would think of J, my travels to Alaska, my big girl job in New York, my academic accomplishments… the list goes on and on. That’s why I’m sitting here writing this post when there are a million other tasks on my To Do list.
I don’t even really know what the point of this post is. I have a note on my desk that says “How does this help my readers” and that’s a tough question to answer seeing as how I’m writing this prior to blog launch. Other than helping myself, how does this help the girl who just lost her grandmother? Or someone who lost a person very important to them? I don’t know anything about grief counseling, I’m not a doctor or a therapist. So how can I help?
In my experience, sometimes it’s nice to just know that there are people out there who feel the same as you. Who laugh and cry and miss people the same as you. I’m not sure, but I think the bible says somewhere that you shouldn’t miss people who are dead because they’re in a better place. But how does that help a girl that doesn’t believe in God? How can I help someone who has just lost their entire world?
I started thinking about what I needed to hear when I lost my grandma. Not the typical things that everyone tells you when you lose a loved one. But the things you really need to hear. Here’s a few things I’ve come up with.
Cry until you can’t cry anymore and then cry some more
You’re allowed to be sad for as long as you want
Write about how you’re feeling in this moment
She will always be with you, a part of you, and watching over you
Do something to celebrate your loved one each year
Take it one day at a time
Like I said, I wasn’t sure how helpful my raw emotions would be for y’all so I decided to reach out to fellow bloggers who have also shared their stories. Dealing with grief is a struggle but here’s a few more posts to help you through it.
No matter how long it’s been since you’ve lost your loved one, grief is really never ending. We will always be aware of their lack of presence at holidays or birthdays or major life events. But loved ones, though they may be gone, never truly leave us. I hope you’ve found this post helpful as it really is just my raw emotions on this day. I want to encourage you to write similar posts or to share your stories in the comment section below. Bye y’all!