How I Dealt With Family Death While Away

Over this Spring break, my dad called me to let me know that my Papa had been diagnosed with an extremely intensive form of liver cancer. Since I was back in my home town of Tacoma, Washington at the time, I was able to go to my dad's house while my Papa came over and explain everything to us. What I didn't know at the time, was that it would be the last time I would ever see my grandfather ever act like himself.

I was able to see him one more time before his death. Easter Sunday my parents were able to get me back down to Tacoma so I could celebrate the holiday with my family. Even though it was only a few weeks after that day during spring break, I could tell that my grandpa wasn't fully there and that he was in a great amount of pain.

About a week after Easter, I got a text that my Papa had passed away while in the presence of my dad and all of his siblings.

The hardest part about his death after getting over the initial numbness was calling my dad and talking to all of my aunts and uncles while they were having a family dinner. It was hard knowing that all my family except me were together and able to comfort each other while I was alone in my dorm. At that moment and throughout that entire week, I would have given anything to go and be back home with my family.

However, I was able to raise my head and realize that my grandpa would have wanted me to stay strong. He would've wanted me to go to all my classes. He was always so proud of me for my academic accomplishments. My friends were also my saviors during that week, making sure that I was doing okay and never leaving me alone unless they had to.

I was able to go back home so I could be apart of his funeral. One of the toughest moments in my life thus far was watching his coffin be lowered into the ground. My family was lucky to have so many people reach out to us and give us so many beautiful memories of him, reminding us that even in death his light was still shining through.

I debated with myself countless times over whether or not I should write this article. In the end, I figured that it would be extremely beneficial to the people reading this who have or are going through a similar situation. Whether it be the death of a family member, a loved one, or a pet, it can be hard for college students to be away when their family is in a time of need. To those of you who know what feeling I'm talking about, I leave you with this. Even though you feel extremely lonely and sad right now, you still have people who love and support you. Your friends will become some of your biggest cheerleaders, especially the ones who care for you most.

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