Death is a five-letter word that most people dread. Dealing with the death of someone you care about a lot is something people dread even more. At least that's how it was for me around 5 years ago now. I know I have written about my grandpa before, but this time is different. Back on November 30, 2012, one of the best men I knew in my life had passed away. Yes, that man was my beloved grandpa, or as I called him my GP.

Unfortunately for me, I remember this day like it happened just yesterday because I lost someone who was close to me. I was thankful and blessed enough to have spent 15 amazing years with my mother's father and those memories will never fade away. You see, he was the only grandpa I had since my father's father passed away before I was even born, so I was a very lucky girl.

Even though it has been 5 years, it still hurts just the same. Some people may not understand, but losing him changed my life. My life and my heart had been torn apart into tiny little pieces because one of the best people in my life was gone forever. He wouldn't be there to see me get my license or watch me walk across the stage to get my diploma at graduation.

It was an emotionally draining time for me, but here I am 5 years later. Even though my grandpa wasn't physically here to witness me hit some of the momentous milestones in my life, I know he was there watching over me the entire time and that is what humbles me the most.

The point is that my grandpa has had and will continue to have a tremendous impact on my life. Sure, it sucks every year when the anniversary of his death comes back around, and yes I do get emotional, but that is how I cope. Everyone copes differently to grieve those they love, but it is important to find healthy ways to cope in order to move on and live your life happily.

Moving on doesn't mean that you are forgetting about what happened, but it means you understand the situation. I know my grandpa would want me to be happy and go out and live my life for him, after all, his infamous saying was "carpe diem" which is Latin for "seize the day." I loved that so much I even got that saying tattooed on my arm as a simple reminder to myself.

Of course, every single day I think about my GP and how I would do anything to get another moment to sit down and talk with him. Just because it has been 5 years does not mean these feelings will magically disappear, it sucks no matter what. However, I know I always have him close by and that is what inspires me to continue to pursue my dreams. Thank you, GP, for the memories we shared together for 15 years of my life. I will treasure those good times forever and you will always have a place in my heart. I love you.

"Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” -Vicki Harrison