A grandparent loves you like their own, spoils you more than they should, and teaches you more life lessons than anyone else you will meet in your life. My grandparents mean the world to me, and I was lucky enough to have six of them; until two of them passed away.

Once I was old enough to understand what happens when someone passes away, I think that my whole life was changed. Losing a grandparent changes people, and you learn some of the most important lessons life has to offer.

1. Life is short

You never really understand how quickly time passes. You know each day goes by and you know that you don't have forever with people — but you don't understand how quickly life actually passes you by. You take moments for granted, bail on plans with your family, and underestimate the time you spend with your friends. If losing a grandparent has taught me anything, it definitely taught me that you don't get enough time with the people you love.

2. Learn to let go

Holding on to things for too long will ruin you. You have to be able to let go of things from the past, things that might go wrong, and things you can't change. There is too much to lose when you hold on to pointless grudges and worthless drama; and like I said before, life is too short.

3. Tell the people you love that you love them

Your family, your friends, someone new — just tell them. You could change someone's life, brighten someones day, and save someone with three simple words. Just say it. Sure, there is a chance things could go awry, but there is a better chance that you will add a light to someone's life.

4. You are going to miss the stories when they're gone

I know that you don't care about how your dad used to run around in high heels, or how your mom used to climb out her bedroom window to sneak to the party of the night — but you will when you aren't hearing it anymore. Your grandparents are full of such amazing stories that are funny, insightful, sad, and beautiful; so let them tell it. I promise that you will miss these times when they are gone. I know that I do.

5. Making mistakes doesn't define you

My Mommom always told me that just because you make a mistake, doesn't mean that you are any less of a person. Mistakes help you find your way along your path, they don't define who you are. No matter what I did, I knew I could go to my grandparents to make me forget about the choices I made the wrong call with, and lead me to new choices so I could make the right ones.

6. Become someone you will be proud of

Each and every choice I have made since my grandmother passed away has been one I hope she is proud of. It is easy to lose yourself among the flow of everyday life, it is easy to make bad choices and become someone you aren't proud of — but becoming someone that you are proud of will be worth the effort.

7. Do the things you love, the rest will fall into place

I am a strong believer that my people in Heaven work endless hours to make sure that I am successful when I put my heart into something I love. I also believe that they back me in things I am passionate about. As long as you are doing something that you love, everything else will fall into exactly where it needs to be.

Losing a grandparent has taught me that sometimes, life is unexpected and things don't always go the way that you think it should. Losing a grandparent taught me that there are so many things that you do through in life — but life is too short to dwell on anything. Losing a grandparent has been a bittersweet lesson in my life, I may have lost someone important to me but I learned so much more than I could've imagined. I am eternally grateful for the time I had with my loved one and the lessons that I learned in her absence.