Losing my Grandparents

If you are reading this post it means that I decided to post it, and to share with all of you something’s I don’t share with many people and not very often. Some of what I have written is hard for me to write about without tearing up.

In someways I feel like I am missing out on something when I see other young adults my age and older who still have grandparents who are alive and going strong.

One of my grandfathers, I never got to meet, as he died before My parents were married (and I came along about 8.5 years after they were married). My Dad’s mom passed away when I was 13, and that was the hardest one for me, as I never really knew how sick she was until the day before she passed. That hit me hard because 3 months previously I spent a week with her and my grandpa and didn’t have the slightest indication anything was wrong. I can remember being angry with her for years for not being there to watch her grandkids grow up (all 4 grandkids not just me). She’d only be 85 if she were still alive. She missed out on our high school graduations, 2 of us graduating from University, so far one of us getting married (my cousin), her first great grand daughter. Her death affected my life in a negative manner years after she passed away. It makes me sad now that it did have that profound of an effect on my life. Now that I am older, there is one thing I wish I could go back and do over, but I know I will never be able to have. The summer before she passed away I can remember her asking me if I wanted her to pray with me before I went to bed, and I said no, at 13 I felt too old to have someone pray with me before I went to sleep. I would love for nothing more than one more chance to have her pray with me. A lot has changed in 13 years. I know I have.

My grandpa (the one I got to know) passed away when I was 20, so I knew him, but at the same time I didn’t know him. If that makes any sense. He was a part of my life growing up, and I know he loved me, but it wasn’t the kind of relationship that I had with my Grandmas. The thing that I remember most about him was when I was 13, during camp of having him pray with me (different situation than with my grandma). The hardest part for me was that he had had a stroke while I was away at camp and my family chose to not let me know right away, so other people had gotten to me first asking me about how he was doing and I was clueless. I was ticked of more at my family than anyone else. I feel that at 20, I should have known soon after or at least the day I had gotten back from camp.

I was 22 when my Mom’s mom passed away, I had graduated from college a couple months before. Of all 3 of my grandparents to pass away in my lifetime her passing was the easiest for me. Even though she was the grandparent I was closest to. I knew months prior that she was not doing as great, I was also in my last term of college. I had worked my schedule out the spring before that school started so that my last term would be my lightest term credit wise, just so it would be an easy last term. That was before my grandma was sick. I totally believe that it was also God’s plan for that term, because he knew that I would be busy with job hunting, my grandma being sick and being involved with a friends wedding. He knew that I needed the easy last term to get the credits I needed and to graduate on time amid the chaos. My mom’s mom was the grandparent I was closest to. She looked after my brother and I when we were kids while my parents worked, so she in many ways helped raise me. When I was little I typically saw her at some point 6 days a week (5 during the week and Sunday mornings at church). She is also the one who I would call and talk to while I was in college. Our relationship changed over the years, she was still grandma and I had better have listened to what she told me, It shifted from Grandma the Adult/boss to Grandma the mentor I could talk to. I would always still be a kid to her, but she totally understood that by my junior and senior years of college I was an adult and facing real adult issues. Beings that I was a senior in college, and shortly after having graduated, I was able to be more proactive in knowing what was going on. I made sure that I was included in knowing, whether I asked my parents or found out by talking to my grandma myself. I came up from school at least a couple times to see her, and be with her. I had also gone to see her within a couple days before she passed away. I don’t know if having lost 2 grandparents prior to her passing or because I was older, or having been more involved and had the contact with her leading up to it, or what made her passing easier in a sense, but it just was. I knew it was coming, she was in her early 90’s and still had had her mind right up until not long before she passed. She was still the Grandma I knew, loved and knew was praying for me right up until the end. In the months and years that she has been gone I have grieved her death the most, but in a different way. I still miss her immensely and it has been 4 years. How I have grieved her death has been different. It is not me being an emotional train wreck for 3 months starting 3 months later (as I would have blocked it out the first three months) and then tried to move on and in many ways forget. This time it has been in remembering her. Knowing that she would be proud of where I am with my knitting, or remembering that her favorite season was also fall, and how much she loved the beach, and the smell of flowers. I got to see her personality in full force. Besides her just being my grandmother I got to know on a bit more on an adult level. I have an easier time talking about her, and mentioning something like “Grandma would have loved this”.

If you are reading this, I don’t want any of to feel sorry for me, as I am not writing this with a woe as me attitude, but rather as sharing how losing my grandparents has effected me differently with each one, and a wide range of emotions is normal. Crying and not crying at funerals is normal. The only one I cried at was my mom’s mom’s graveside service. I am one who prefers to cry privately, and crying in public is not a normal response for me.


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