Even Though You Know You're Going To Lose Somebody, It Doesn't Make It Any Easier

Even Though You Know You're Going To Lose Somebody, It Doesn't Make It Any Easier

Your mind understands what's going on, but your heart just doesn't want to let them go.

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Recently, my grandfather passed away just two days from returning to college. I knew that his days were limited, but I didn't realize how soon that was. My grandfather has had multiple cases of infections, even cancer and has bounced back from it and ended up being fine again. As a young girl, I had no idea that it was even going on at the time. He still worked at his job, even still participated in local committees and clubs.

However, since being away at my first semester, my grandfather had gotten sick. I wasn't worried about it because I knew he would bounce back again and be fine by the time I would have gotten home. However, that wasn't the case. In early October, my family had received the news that my grandfather was diagnosed with bone cancer, and he decided not to get treatment for it. I knew that he was dying, but I didn't know that in a short two months he would no longer be with us.

With a quick visit in October, a week or so after I found out the news, he was so ecstatic to see my face again because he would always say how much he missed me being home. That visit was the last time he said, "I love you." With being so far away, I realized that there was always a possibility of receiving "the call," and anytime my dad would call, my stomach would drop thinking that this was it.

Even with all the preparations being made ahead of time for my grandfather and knowing then that time was sooner than later, it still wasn't easy to see him lifeless and in so much pain. When he did pass, however, it still was hard to accept it once it did happen for me and the rest of my family.

Through the grieving process that has now started with my grandfather, I get drawn to this one verse in the bible that was said at his funeral service. Psalms 23:6 (ESV) "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." I know now that he is in a better place, and he has reunited with his family members and will meet everyone else once we pass on.

Death is a hard topic to talk about, and even think about knowing that we someday we will pass on. But death should be more celebrated for then being pondered about. Personally, if someone can remember somebody in a positive manner, then their life was well lived and has impacted other people's lives.

I will always remember my grandfather's larger than life personality, his big heart for his family and others, and his smile. I'll miss him so much.

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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There Will Never Be A Home Like Your Grandparents' House

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go.

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I didn't realize how essential families were to the holidays until I spent the holidays missing someone who wasn't there.

My grandpaMadelyn Neal

On Christmas Day, I went to my grandmother's home in small-town Kentucky to celebrate. I was particularly worried about how empty the house would feel without my grandfather. I couldn't help but think of what I would have gotten him for Christmas, his favorite catch-phrases that I would have heard non-stop, and even what he would have ordered at Domino's (yes, our traditional Christmas meal is takeout).

But despite it all, I had a nice Christmas, and it seemed as though maybe he wasn't as far away as he previously seemed.

Wedding photosMadelyn Neal

In the short weeks after he passed, I kept waiting to "feel his presence" or a sign from him, as everyone always says you will no doubt feel. That said, I realized that it was the things he left behind that really helped me to feel closer to him.

When we sat down to dinner, with his customary seat left open for him, it seemed to everyone at the table that for a moment, he was there with us.

When we made a fire in his fireplace and began to listen to the crackle, I could almost hear the typical accompanying snoring coming from his corner of the couch.

His go-to fishing pole on the deck of his pond seemed as if it was just resting after hours of use.

The next morning, when I went outside to feed his deer their daily cracked cornmeal, I swore they were listening for his whistle that signaled the dinner bell.

There truly is no place like grandmother's house.

Me and my grandmotherMadelyn Neal

There is nothing that soothes the soul better than taking on the task of feeding his deer friends, looking at old pictures and even trying on my grandmother's old wedding dress and mom's old prom dresses.

Wearing my grandmother's wedding dress.Madelyn Neal

In the spirit of New Year's resolutions, find your happy place, listen to the quiet and you'll find both yourself and your lost loved ones there. When the clock chimed at night, I felt the most at peace I have felt in a long time. I can't wait for the next visit to see my grandmother, because I know every time I visit, not only will I enjoy watching our favorite movies, learning how to knit and eating our delicious family specialties, but I'll also welcome the comforting feeling that what we have lost isn't lost, it's just not as visible as we would like.

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