On January 10, 2015, I lost my grandfather. In two years and seven months I had lost all of my grandparents. I was so angry and had such a heavy heart. The grief that I took on was like a weight that was tied to my ankle and dragging me down to the bottom of the ocean.
Now I know I am not the first person in the world to lose someone, but when I lost my grandfather it was final. The end of a chapter in my life was ending and I had absolutely no control over it. Now I am the type of person who has control issues. I like to feel that I have a handle on something, but something as large as life and death, how could I ever feel I would be able to control that? Even when my family placed the phone up to my grandfather’s ear as I said my final good bye, I still was telling him that this was not part of the plan and he needed to just stay longer so I could have my one last visit that was only in one week. Honestly that last visit wasn’t going to make his leaving this Earth any easier, but in the heat of the moment I thought that was what I needed.
What I needed? Why is it when in times of crisis we become so hyper focus on what will make us better? Why is it that I felt so betrayed by the person I prayed to not even an hour before saying that if my grandfather had to pass away I would be okay with it as long as he was no longer suffering, and then an hour later I was praying for him to bring my grandfather back? When I think about this, I often wonder if God thinks I am a little confusing or crazy at times. Who am I kidding, he made me this way so he must have known what he was doing right?
I am not sure how I thought things would go after my grandfather’s funeral. I thought there would be closure, and to a certain extent there was. I said my good byes and celebrated his life with all the people who loved him dearly, but when I got home the hole in my heart was still there and I was not dealing with the grief as I probably should have. I was constantly busying myself with the chaos of life and I was just shoving those feelings down further and further. Every time I talked about a grandparent, I broke down, which I feel is normal because I was once again sad that this chapter in my life was ending. That my children would never experience their great grandparents as I experienced my grandparents, however it wasn’t until my grandparent’s house was being cleaned out and getting ready to go on the market, did I know I had a problem.
Now when I say problem, I am not sure that is the best way to refer to it. I would have to say that this struggle was something that reared its ugly head the moment my grandparent’s home had interested buyers. I began to feel my childhood memories were being sold. Can you believe that was what I was thinking? Memories aren’t made of things, but are made by the experience, yet I was so afraid of losing that one thing that allowed so many experiences to happen I thought I was going to lose the house and the memories of my grandparents. It definitely sounds a little crazy, but that was the place I was at. And somehow during all this, I would lash out at my parents when they updated me on things, but I would just keep living my life here with my kids as if nothing was wrong.
It wasn’t until recently I realized that I needed to stop making excuses for myself and allow myself to grieve because as we know children learn from example and I was afraid my kids were going to have this grieving experience as their example and it scared me. During all this I truly had been reading a lot and I began looking at some of the messages I was getting from the books I was reading and actually making it applicable to my grieving. One book I was reading was One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. With this book, I read a couple things that began sparking a little understanding of attempting to deal with the grief.
From Ann Voskamp’s book she discusses the hard eucaristeo and how even these eucaristeos can be turned into a joy. Now at first I was still asking myself, how in the world can I turn this closed chapter in my life into a joy when I hurt so much? How could I turn this pain ultimately into joy? Then I began thinking about how Jesus turned the Last Supper into an eucharisteo. By taking the pain, thanking the Lord for it, and then transforming it into a joy still seems like a challenge as I am still in the trenches with my grief. However I have come to the conclusion that my grandparents made me so happy. I have so many fond memories of them and I decided that as I reflect upon them individually I can become a better person if I attempt to do things that they all did in their lives. It is almost as if I am going to take a few small things in each of their lives and add them to my every day lifestyle. I have created my list of things I want to do, however I still have not began to add them to my every day life. I need to make that next step, but doing it then truly means I am ready to move on, but am I really ready?
I have begun to see a glimmer in my future. With all the sadness I have endured, I have taken time to reflect and see all these great qualities of my grandparents in myself, family members, and even some quirky ones in my children. It is great to get to a point where I can see that brighter future. I still cry as I talk about the stories and memories, and I am sure I will for awhile because only time heals the pain. But at this point now I know that I am not alone. There will be many more endings to chapters in my life, but I do know that if I attempt to cope with these closings on my own, I will never make it. We are never alone, and we will always have someone to help us up when we are down, all we have to do is turn to Him.
Meet Our Guest Writer Today
My name is Lindsay Evans and I am a mother of two who is just trying to manage the chaos that seems to be going on around me continuously. My outlet and coping with some of the craziness is to write. I don’t consider myself a writer, but I do know that after getting the words out, I feel more relaxed and can breathe that the story swirling around in my head has escaped.
Blog link and description:
princessestrucksandtears.blogspot.com I am currently a mommy of two and have made the brave transition as a stay at home mom. I am using my chaotic life as motivation to write to others so that they do not feel alone because lets face it this parenting thing is a lot harder than it looks. Sometimes I get a little sentimental, but what it breaks down to is that I write about what is real in my world and I don’t hold anything back. Sit back and enjoy my chaos because someone has to:)