My life is different with my Grandparents gone.

They were two of the best friends I’ve ever had. A second set of parents. Two people who were incredibly impactful in who I am today.

I am without two of my biggest cheerleaders.
I am without two of the biggest mirrors of my self.
I am without a specific kind of joy that only they could fill.
I am without their wisdom and guidance for new things that pop up.

I am without them.

“But they are still with you in your heart.”
“They are only gone in the physical sense.”
“You’ll see them again in another life.”

I used to hear these things and I’ll be honest- they never helped me. I still hurt. I still ache for their presence. Those words, while well-intentioned, fell empty on my heart.

Dealing With Grief.

To this day, I have moments where I feel I am forgetting a certain part of them and I’ll stop in my tracks and start to panic. I’ll force myself to immediately think of a bunch of things about them in complete detail so that I automatically feel closer.

There are times when all I want to do is pull up their pictures, videos, letters and voice recordings. Sometimes they bring me joy and other times they crush me. I miss them so much.

Sometimes I can’t even bring myself to look at those same memories because I know that my day will be pure melancholy after. It’ll send me into a spiral of desperately longing for them. Almost as if I am gasping for air. The kind of longing that physically hurts.

I think about how they won’t ever see me get married, or see what more I’ll accomplish. Now when something truly great happens, it’s excitement followed by the heavy feeling of knowing I can’t share this with them. With them no longer with me, it has put a pit in my heart that I believe will never go away. I often find myself in silence or even in simple mundane moments where I whisper out loud, I miss you.

Damn do I f*cking miss you.

What I would give for one more day with them.

Losing someone you love.

It has been 4 and a half years since my Grandmother passed and one year since my Grandpa. I would like to say I’m not still heartbroken over the fact but I am. At times it paralyzes me how much I miss them.

I don’t write this to be doom and gloom but to tell you, if you lost someone, I get it. Your whole world changes and to most people it is just a normal day. The pain is isolating. And it will continue throughout life in waves. Some of them crashing, some of them softly rolling to the forefront of your mind.

My every day has changed with the absence of them. They were the first to read anything I wrote. The ones who motivated me to make a career in writing. They knew everything going on in my life from love to friends to my biggest dreams. They were a home base of love, memories, and encouragement for me.

One thought that continues to derail me surrounds around my Grandma’s very last day. Her last day came quicker than we anticipated. The day before her death, I was supposed to go visit her but instead I agreed to meet with two clients (I was a wardrobe stylist at the time) and work with them on some last minute things. I remember talking to my Grandma on the phone and she was so sad that I wasn’t coming to see her that day but understood. I told her I’d see her in a week. She passed the next day.

I am gutted from this. I can’t believe I chose work in that moment.

I know she would never hold it against me (she’d tell me, “get over it!”) but I still have moments where it eats me up inside. Feelings of guilt or regret are often in tandem with grief. I think we need to understand: almost no one escapes this because none of us are perfect humans. There are no perfect relationships. Magnificent and meaningful ones, but never perfect.

My heart breaks for those hurting. But I’m here to be honest with you and not sugar coat it. Your life is never going to be the same. It’s not supposed to be the same because that person (or people) mattered to you. If they didn’t matter, you wouldn’t experience grief.

It is both a beautiful and tragic thing. To have had the opportunity to love someone so much that goodbye was that difficult to bear. It is perhaps one of the rawest emotions you will ever feel.

True grief, although it lessens in severity over time, never leaves.

In moments of despair, when I am grasping for that silver lining, I tell myself this: I am grateful to have experienced such astounding pain upon losing my Grandparents because I know that’s an indicator that those were such spectacular relationships.  Something not everyone gets to experience. They meant something to me, and that means goodbye was going to rock my world. I accept that. The years and memories they gave me…. all worth it. I wouldn’t erase anything even if it meant less grief.

I also know that in order to heal, we need to feel. We need to let things get worse (feel the pain) before they get better.

If you are hurting, I promise you. You are going to continue to find beauty in life. You will continue to thrive. To love. But life is going to be different. You’ll feel holes in places that were once… whole. You’ll have moments of anger and regret. But there is always a thought or memory to comfort you. A loving reminder to keep going. You may fear you’ll forget, but you never will.

Unless you suffer a massive head trauma, you will never forget this person. A million things will happen in your life and you will never forget. I repeat this because it matters. Grant yourself this comfort.

And you know this person would never want you to feel guilt or debilitating pain after their passing. They would want you to go on, boldly… knowing that the love shared between the two of you was so special it could never be replicated. That they left you with impact. Even with the “thorns” that every relationship experiences… it’s so small in comparison to how great it really was. That’s the part to be celebrated and remembered.

And you’ll always be able to picture what you think they would say about something. Sometimes with my Grandparents, I’ll wonder what they would say about a praticular subject, and I can almost always guess exactly what they would say and how they’d say it. And it makes me smile. In those moments I feel close to them.

Grief is deafening. But you’re going to come out both stronger and softer from the experience. You’re going to be okay. You’ll never forget. And what you experienced with that person is possibly something so beautiful that most people could only dream of something so meaningful. Find solace in that. <3

I’m always here to talk, Violets. You know where to find me: @TheVioletFog. Sending you my love.