An Open Letter To A Loved One That Has Passed Away

An Open Letter To A Loved One That Has Passed Away

On loss, grief, and what happens afterwards.
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I would like to precede this article by saying that for me, this letter is directed to my grandmother, who passed away earlier this year. My hope in writing this letter is in self-expression of grieveing for me, as well as connection with my reader.

Dear loved one,

As I grieve for you, it sometimes feels like I am incapable of crying anymore, but I am always proven wrong. It has been over two months since you passed away, and though I don't think of you as often as I did at the beginning of this journey, you are never completely forgotten. Happy memories are tainted with sadness as I realize that for each of the things we did together innumerable times, there was a last time and there will never be another. It is hard to do things that we once always did together. I can't think about mixing lemonade or making homemade biscuits the same way.

When you died, I had to adjust to a life that you were no longer a part of. I had never lived in a world where you didn't exist. I had never even lived in a world where you lived more than a mile away from my house, and in your last years, you were in the room next door to me.

In your last years of life, Alzheimer's defined you. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's is not easy, and at times I resented you, which I am ashamed of. The disease chipped away pieces of your personality. You could no longer cook or sew. You couldn't be alone, and you always wanted answers to the same questions. It was all too easy for me to forget about who you were without the disease, and looking back, I wish I had done some things differently. I hope you can forgive me for this.

When you were alive, I thought I had a good understanding of you as a person. You had always been a presence in my life. You were instrumental in making me the person I have become today. But when you died, I felt like I didn't know you at all. There was so much of your life that I didn't know about, and I had never bothered to find out from you. Defining you only in relation to me was a naïve way to consider you, and I'm sorry that I didn't realize this sooner. It is the curse of any loss, but especially death, that true appreciation for a person is not realized until it is too late.

When I was a part of the funeral services, I realized that you would never get to see me graduate college. One of many things that you would not experience with me. I hope that you would be proud of me. I hope you would approve of the choices I have made and would love me regardless.

I will not think of you everyday. A time will come when I have adjusted to a life without you, as sad as that thought may be. But I will never forget who you were, and what you meant to me, and what you taught me. You taught me how to do my homework neatly and how to be generous. You taught me hospitality and how to properly cook spam. I hope that I can do your memory justice. Your belongings that you gave to me will always be treated with care. I'm grateful for all the small pieces of your life I get to carry on into mine, even though you yourself are not here.

The sun has gone down on this part of my life, but my life is not over. I want to live in a way that honors your memory. I know that someday I will see you again. So for that reason, I will not say goodbye now. I will simply say goodnight.

Goodnight, Grandma.

Love, Jordan.




Cover Image Credit: OIan Mills

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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A Thank You Letter To My Biggest Supporters

My grandparents are two of the most important people in my life, and I would not be who I am today without them.

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I have always been super close with my grandparents, but as I became older, I realized how important they were to me. From showing up to every one of my soccer games, to babysitting so my parents could go out for date night, and everything in between, they have always been there for my family. Through the years as we went through changes and problems in life, they were always there to lean on. I have never been more grateful to have such loving people in my life and proud to call my grandparents.

Throughout the years, my family and I have been fortunate enough to travel to Arizona and Wisconsin to visit them for spring break and during the summer. Their homes have helped our family create so many lasting memories that we will cherish forever. This past fall, they sold the home in Wisconsin, which was hard on our family, but it made us really think about how much of an impact that house made on us and how much we are really going to miss it. Without this house, we would not have learned how to water ski, gotten cheap, but delicious ice cream at the town's windmill, or played pool and air hockey for hours in the basement of the cottage. I am forever grateful for this home and thank my grandparents for allowing us to make such special memories in their home.

When my grandparents chose to buy another home in Arizona, I never really knew how much it would impact my life. I chose to go to school across the country in Arizona, which allowed me to spend even more time with them and made us closer. From shopping to experiencing new restaurants, and walking around the fountain across from their house, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Every Wednesday I call my grandma just to share what's been going on that week, or just in life in general, and I look forward to it every time. It has created such a special connection between the two of us and she is always just a phone call away. Not only does it put me in a better mood, but it makes me so happy that I have her in my life.

My grandpa is the most generous person I have ever met and I hope to be just like him one day when I have grandchildren. Helping me financially with college has been the most generous thing someone can do and I am forever grateful that I have someone like him in my life.

Some people aren't close with their grandparents and if I were to recommend one thing, I would say go that extra mile to make that special connection with them. Ask about their lives when they were younger, where they met, and what they learned in life, it might just change your view on life.

Always take advantage of the time you have with loved ones because it can create such special bonds to last a lifetime. I have never met more special people than these two and I hope to be half the people they are one day.

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