I never understood what it was like to lose a grandparent.
Before losing a grandparent I would see posts, or hear in school about how so and so lost their grandparent. I would reach out, send my condolences, and move on.
I didn't understand until I did.
My grandfather got sick, and then I understood. I watched him decline in front of my eyes. He held together my family, and once he left it fell apart. He was the voice of reason. He was known to be a man of few words, but those words were wise. When he left, chaos erupted.
Grandma was left alone, her soulmate, gone. She grew depressed and started to decline as well. When my grandfather passed away, my family broke like glass. Grandma was the tape that was barely holding the shattered pieces together, one she was no longer mentally here, we all crumbled down with her.
They left and took apart of my heart. The days go on and I still cannot believe they aren't here. The fact that I have to live the rest of my life without them feels like someone's stabbing me in the heart. I don't know what's worse, the pain I felt losing them, or the pain I get when I think about everything they won't be here for.
I'll never forget my high school graduation when I looked out into the crowd and didn't see their faces, it killed me on the inside. If anyone who has ever lost a grandparent, had a relationship the one I shared with my grandparents then my heart goes out to you. I don't think people understand just how close I was with them.
They were the thing that kept me going, the people I would strive to make proud of me, the ones who served as my role models. I will never forget when I used to be a cheerleader, and my team won Grand Champions and first place in our division at Nationals and my grandpa looked at me and told me how proud he was of me, and that he couldn't wait to tell all his friends.
The reality was, he had no friends left, but it was still the thought and the feeling of knowing I made him proud.
My grandma came to all my high school shows, she was there for everyone. I remember my senior year I got a lead, and it was just after my grandfather passed away, the show was exactly one month after his passing date, and it gave me a sense of comfort because it would be my first show that I knew he'd be watching. He was always too frail, or sick to get to the show and back. Grandma would tell me after how proud she was of me, freshman year I played a male who had two lines, and I'll never forget walking to her and seeing her smile. She told me I was the best in the entire show, and that's what kept me going.
When they left, they took my drive with them. I've had to learn how to live without them in my daily life, and it is hard. For the last two years of their life my mom and I lived with them, I grew so accustomed to being with them, and then they just disappeared. The sad part is, I think I'm still in denial about them being gone. In the back of my mind, I still have hope that one day they are just going to walk through the door or call my phone, and it kills me.
I think them passing took a piece of my sanity to the grave, it took a piece of my happiness, it took a chunk of my heart, and has left me picking up the pieces of myself. The one thing it didn't take, was my memories. Those are something I'll hold onto for the rest of my life.