**Warning: This is a selfish blog post. Maybe my post will benefit someone. I always hope it does. But I wanted to give a fair warning that I am writing this post for me. ***
The beginning of 2016 started off for me with new goals, new challenges that I welcome and unfortunately a lot of loss that was not expected. Loss is a part of life, I know, but is still difficult. Here’s my story of the past two months.
I have been SO BLESSED to have three out of my four grandparents in my life over the past 36 years of my life. Not too many people can say that and I will be forever grateful for this. In the span of a month I unfortunately lost two of them.
At the end of January, my grandfather lost his battle with Dementia at the age of 88. He lived a long full life and had a loving family around him. Dementia is evil. I do not wish it on my worst enemy but unfortunately it runs in our family. The night before he passed I actually prayed that God would just take him because I was so sick of seeing and hearing about how much pain he was in. I just wanted him to be with his wife who passed away 25 years ago of cancer. So when I got the news that he passed I was upset but the thought of him having his first date in 25 years up in heaven with my grandmother made my heart happy. Rest in Peace Grampa. You were long overdue for peace.
About a month later I got a call from my mother who told me my grandmother was complaining of chest pains and they were taking her to the hospital. My grandmother was 92 but in fairly good shape so I honestly did not think anything of it. Turns out she was having a heart attack and they were going to have to put her through surgery. I still wasn’t thinking anything of it. It was my grandmother….she is in GREAT shape for her age. She was in the hospital for a few days recovering, I was heading down to see her the following weekend to celebrate her and my grandfather’s 70th Wedding Anniversary! Everything was fine.
One morning a got a text from my mother with an update on my grandmother. She told me that a priest came in and read my grandmother her last rites the night before and that they didn’t think she had much time. The next morning she was up eating applesauce…talk about an emotional rollercoaster! To make a long story short, the weekend I was supposed to celebrate my grandparents 70th Wedding Anniversary, I said my goodbyes to my grandmother in hospice. I had never said goodbye to someone knowing it would be my final goodbye until I see them on the other side. Man, was that hard and I did not prepare myself for it. Not sure you can.
One of the hardest parts of all of this was seeing how heart-broken my grandfather was. Their love is the true definite of TRUE LOVE. When I think of them, I think of the movie The Notebook. I always thought they were going to have the same ending. But I’m glad we get to have my grandfather around a little longer. (side note: if you haven’t seen The Notebook don’t watch it unless you want to cry A LOT!)
My grandmother was a beautiful woman. Her hair was always perfect. She cared about everyone else before herself. She LOVED her family. She will be missed. Rest in Peace Nana, and give my Grampa a big hug for me.
The day before I headed back down to my parents to give my final goodbyes to my grandmother, I got a call from my best friend from high school. I saw her name pop-up on my phone and I figured she was just checking in on me since she knew my grandmother had just passed away. She is so thoughtful and caring like that. I picked up and I heard her sobbing on the other end. This couldn’t be good. It took me a couple of minutes to get it out of her what she wanted to tell me because she really didn’t want to give me anymore bad news but she felt I needed to know. She told me that our friend Joe had gone missing and that his sister thought he could be suicidal.
My first thought was, “Are you kidding me God? Are you really throwing this at me right now???” Then it went to, “He’s missing, he’s not dead, this stuff doesn’t happen to us.” I got the details, told her to keep me posted, hung up and prayed. A half hour later I got the news, she was right and he was gone.
One thing you need to understand about my group of friends from high school, is we have this really unique bond. We are ALL still really close. We don’t necessarily talk everyday or see each other every month or every year for that matter, but when we get together it’s like nothing ever changed. Everyone tells us how rare our friendship is and I think we all know how true it is. This is us from last summer:
So this past Monday I was on a quick trip back to Boston to say another goodbye to a long time friend. By this time I am exhausted. I’m exhausted from traveling by car and by plane. I’m emotionally drained that I physically can’t cry anymore and when I do it is at the worst times. Everything is just hard.
I could write a whole other blog on losing a friend to suicide and someday I might. It really messes with your head. I feel guilty, my heart is broken that we had no idea he was hurting that bad. In a way I am happy that he is in a better place and not hurting anymore. Some people tell me I should be mad at him but I’m not at all. I’m not sure why. I really do think it is a selfish thing to do but the feeling of anger just hasn’t come over me. Maybe someday….
JoBu was such a kind soul, he was quiet yet hilarious and so good lookin! I always joked that I was going to marry him if we were still single at 40. BIG MISTAKE. I should have snagged him earlier because he was a catch. I have a big hole in my heart and I’m not sure if it will ever get any easier. We love you JoBu and you will NEVER be forgotten. Whenever I have a Coors Light I’m toasting to you buddy.
They say (whoever “they” is) things happen in threes. Hopefully this is it for goodbyes for me for a while. I did learn a lot from these trials. It was a big reminder not to take important relationships for granted. If I could take anything away from these past couple of months it would have to be the following.
- No matter how busy life gets remember to make time for your family and friends or those who are most important to you. You never know how much time you have left with them.
- You never know what someone is going through. Try not to judge people. You could be so close to someone and they could be miserable and you may not even know it. Give people a break sometimes.
- Check in on people. Maybe you haven’t talked to a friend or family member in a while. Check in on them. Just call and say hi. See how they are doing. Let them know you are thinking of them.
I didn’t write this post as a “poor me” post. I wrote it as a form of healing for myself. And maybe someone will read it that is going through a similar situation and find comfort. But like I said at the beginning, I wrote this blog selfishly.
Now on to healing and better days.