I don’t know how this post is going to go… Usually I wait until I’m calmer to write, but I think writing this will help me right now…
Four and a half months ago my grandmother died. It was completely unexpected and it happened very fast. At the time, everyone said we were slowly preparing for grandpa’s passing and that made my grandma’s death even more sudden.
Today I know, nothing can mentally prepare you from a sudden loss.
Today my grandpa died quickly and unexpectedly.
At least for me it was quick and unexpected.
Here we are, planning to visit Belarus in August, to be with my grandpa, to visit my grandma’s grave. He’d been sick for so long, but he kept holding on. He was excited when we called, he loved seeing pictures of us and it seemed to give him hope and a reason to keep fighting, just knowing we would come visit him.
Then he fell this morning.
The ambulance came, put him in his bed and left him. They said there was nothing they could do. They didn’t even give him any medication for pain. They said he would never stand and walk again.
My uncle had to go out, and he was gone for a few hours, but he had a sudden feeling that he needed to get home. My grandpa was overjoyed that his son had come home. He even managed to get up!
It seemed like an amazing burst of energy. It seemed like maybe, everything would be okay.
After my uncle helped him, he put him back to bed, made him comfortable and went to another room.
Soon he heard my grandpa making a strange noise. He went to check on him and he’d turned blue – he couldn’t get enough air.
My uncle called the ambulance again, but by the time they got there, they could only pronounce him dead and write down the time.
Today I woke up, went to work, came home to tutor another little boy and as soon as he left, my mom told me what had happened. At first I wasn’t crying, and I was confused. Then I started suddenly and it was beyond my control. Even as I write, the tears start and stop as they please.
Today I realized no one can grieve the same way. Not even one person grieves the same way twice.
I used to think that I didn’t know what to say to comfort a grieving friend because I’d never experienced loss. My dog died, and I got a taste of familial loss, but I knew it would be the same as a parent, or grandparent’s passing.
Then my grandma died, and now my grandpa’s passed too, and I still don’t know what I would say to comfort a grieving friend. It’s because I don’t know what I need or want to hear myself.
When people find out about a loss they often say, “I’m sorry.” I don’t know how to respond to that because they’re not apologizing. I can’t say, “That’s ok,” or “It’s alright” as if I’m forgiving them. “Thank you” doesn’t seem to fit right either.
Personally, many people have told me that they’re praying for me and my family, or keeping us in their thoughts. I’m sincerely thankful for those prayers, but I almost feel bad if my loss is “in their thoughts” because it seems like I’m ruining their day. I don’t know if that makes sense… I don’t even know if that’s how I’ll usually feel. Maybe the death is just so fresh in my mind that all my feelings are off right now.
Before my mom told me, I was hungry and I needed to use the bathroom (sorry if that’s TMI).
After she told me, all thoughts of my body’s needs went away…
Is that something others feel too? I just seemed to shut down, my feelings for myself were far from my mind, I lost control of my emotional response and I felt empty.
Now there is a strange heaviness in my chest. I still have no control over my tears, but I’m thinking about a lot of things at once.
I’m thankful I have loving family and friends surrounding me and a mighty God I can lean on in sorrow.
I’m really confused as to why my grandpa had to die now, and I don’t think I’ll ever know… at least not until I meet my Creator myself.
For now, our family will be grieving and praying. It’s quiet and somber at our house.
Please keep us all in your prayers. I have an uncle, aunt and cousin still in Belarus as well, and they need more prayer than we do.