As The Years Go By, It Never Gets Easier

As The Years Go By, It Never Gets Easier

Four years later, it still hurts from the pit of my stomach to the center of my heart.

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Loss is tough. It acquires significant energy. It hurts to keep up with something, or someone, you've already lost.

I think about her a lot. I wonder what she is doing in Heaven, as I hurt down here on Earth. I may not show it, but I feel it twice as much. Is she happy up there? Does she wish she were down here?

What does it even feel like? Those who have never experienced a loss such as this will never know until it happens to them. It doesn't feel like anything until the numbness becomes too numb that it actually starts to hurt. I think numbness is more powerful than regular, physical pain.

Why am I sad? I lost someone close to me. Most seem to believe that time heals all wounds, yet here I am, sitting with the wounds that have been cut deeper and deeper. Four years later.

This hurts. I try to get up and brush it off, occupying my mind until it stops crying before it makes me cry. Four years feels like an eternity, but at the same time, it feels like a day. I think of her and her memory is alive.

What scares me is that her memory is fresh, but I'm starting to forget her voice sounds like. It's very vague in my mind. I can hear her most clearly in my dreams. I know what she looks like, but I only remember her in her abundance of good health and even better spirits. She loved to sing and dance.

I can't even bear to think of her sick.

It hurts me too much. My heart slowly starts to break, it's breaking, broken.

Four years later. I couldn't tell you what I was exactly wearing during my 8th-grade graduation, and I couldn't tell you what I had for dinner last week. But I can tell you in detail of the moment when she went to see Jesus.

As the years go by, it never gets easier. I can tell you that right now. Four years, and it hurts just as much as it did that exact day. There is a new normal; I have a new process and daily schedule. I think about other things now, but she still lays in the back of my mind, talking to me, singing, drinking a margarita. She lays on a beach while I'm here.

It never gets easier, but it also does not get any harder. It's odd. Sometimes, I will have moments where I feel like the world is burning and crashing around me, and no one can help me but her. There are moments when I wish she could help. But she can't. I've learned to accept and move on, but it still hurts.

Hurting. Hurt.

Just because you can overcome something, it doesn't mean you forget it in the first place.

Four years.

I miss you, Mom.

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I'm The Girl That's Best Friends With Her Grandparents

My Nan and Pap are my heart.
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To My Very Best Friends,

You guys are my world. You are the sweetest, kindest, most beautiful souls I have ever known. You are the most generous people in the world. You would do anything for anyone, and you never expect a thank you or any recognition. No one deserves to be recognized for their unbelievable kindness more than you two. I know that I could never find the words to thank you enough or to explain how much you truly mean or how great you really are, but I will do my very best for the very special people who give their utmost each and every day. I'm so proud to be the girl that's best friends with her grandparents.

So, Nan and Pap, here's to you:

Breakfast dates have always been our thing.

You have always brought us to the local diner for as long as I can remember. I cherish these dates. There is nothing more comforting to me than to walk into that restaurant and see your smiling faces sitting in the booth near the window. You guys listen to every word I have to say, and care about every little detail of my life. Sitting across from you with the morning sun shining on your faces melts my heart and brings so much peace to my soul. I can not even tell you how special these times are for me. I get to press pause on the pressures of the world and sit down and laugh with you guys. You are always just happy to be with each other, and happy to spend time with me. I love you so much for the beautiful souls you are.

You believe in me.

You believe in my writing, and you support my dreams. You read every single one of my articles, and are quite certain I'll write a book someday. If I ever make it, if I ever achieve my dream of becoming an author, I will dedicate every word, cover to cover to you two. You guys have cheered me on my whole life, and held me together every single day, through the worst times and the brightest. You are my rock. You guys have been a constant throughout my entire life. You have always been by my side. I can always count on you. I have always been able to run to you guys. Growing up, you were right next door so I was lucky enough to run up the grassy hill and come bounding into your house. Even now at 22, I find myself driving out to your house several times a week running right into your arms. You have always been home to me.

You guys are my everything.

You're my voice of reason, my smile, my sunshine every day. Your laughs bring so much joy to my heart. You are my protectors and safe haven. You are my sense of direction and every ounce of faith I have. Your kindness humbles me beyond words. Your love for me has given me more than I could ever ask for. It is everything I am. No one can make me laugh, or comfort me like you two. You are every bit of reassurance I have in everything life throws my way. You are my confidence. You hold me together, and you are my drive to succeed in this life. Your strength has been my greatest inspiration

I cherish each and every moment spent with you guys. I appreciate you more than I could ever say, and I love you with all of my heart.

"I love you as big as the sky!"

Love,

Your Granddaughter

Cover Image Credit: Hayley Gulesian

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To My Beautiful Mother, Thank You For Everything

Here's the best "Thank You" I can put into words.

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Today was not my day.

We were in the middle of a CVS and I started crying because I saw this Mike Wazowksi stuffed animal, and it reminded me of how fast I'm growing up. It was really, really stupid. You gave me your sunglasses to cover my blotchy eyes and told me to pretend we were at the pharmacy because I had an eye infection. I was sniffling and wearing these ridiculously oversized sunglasses (because sometimes you dress like an honest-to-god celebrity), and all the pharmacists and the people in line looked at us like we were insane. You didn't care. We drove around for a bit in your brand new car and you told me that there are just days like this and that I was going to be okay.

Later tonight, I went out for some fresh air. You picked me up in your pajama pants. I could tell that you were really tired. From the kitchen now, I can see the edge of your socks on our Michigan blanket. You were watching your lawyer show and you fell asleep on the couch again. Thanks for picking me up.

Dad says that when we were still living in that two-flat on Carmen, you liked to play Van Morrison and dance around in circles with me. "Into The Mystic" was our favorite one. To this day, I still love when I hear Van sing, "We were born before the wind." and when I'm away at school and they play"Brown-Eyed Girl" at the bar, I always think of our old house.

It used to be just me, you, dad, and a black lab. I was your first kid, and you and dad were barely 30 when I was born. You are both tan and happy in our first family photos. I like to think that the two of you were pretty excited to have me. I remember when dad painted The Cow Jumped Over The Moon on the far wall of my bedroom. There would be this big, bright-yellow saucer moon, and a smiling spoon holding hands with a dish waiting for me when I came home. I know that you wanted me to be a happy kid from the very first day. You dressed me like a chubby little corn on the cob for my first Halloween.

You watched "Monsters Inc." with me on the couch almost every night, and I know you got tired of it. You walked me around the neighborhood with stroller shaped like a little red car and we were the coolest chicks on the block. I lost my favorite stuffed animal, this spotted little dog, and we searched together for hours. You even helped me make "MISSING" posters and post them around the neighborhood, in case I left him at the park or playing outside. You brushed out my curls every morning before school even when I screamed and cried and fought you. You drove me to violin practice on Tuesday nights and let me play my Taylor Swift CD's on the way there, as long as you could listen to your music on the way back. One year you even took me to see her in concert at the Allstate Arena. You bought me a Taylor Swift poster, and we watched her music videos together on the home computer. You worked hard so I could have a good childhood.

You opened your own law practice and saved up money so I could go to this fancy, private school in the West Loop. The people there were different than me. They dressed differently and talked in a different way than I'd grown up with. To be crass, the majority of them had lots of money- and they acted like it. So, what did you do? You busted your ass off, and in addition to paying what was essentially college tuition, you took me shopping at Vineyard Vines so I could fit in with the kids at school. That was almost too nice of you. Like, maybe you should have just told me to shut up, wear the clothes I had already, and deal with it. You're too giving for that.

During the winter when the days were hard and everything just felt crappy, I took the Taylor Street bus to your office after school. You always gave me money to go get Chipotle across the street. You cleared out the conference room so I could either nap or do homework. We drove home together from downtown and the traffic was always unbearable, but we talked about what was going on in our lives as we inched down the highway. On the days like those, I felt like you were my best and truest friend in the world.

You taught me to be down-to-earth, and that a glass of wine a day is good for the health.

You didn't bat an eye when I told you I wanted to major in journalism. You stayed up late with me one night when I was a little bit... "sick", and ran a marathon the next day. I watched you run a political campaign and win fair-and-square. You refused to play into the games of politics, and I watched you become a Cook County Judge because of how fair and genuine you are. You taught me that dark hair and red lipstick will never go out of style. You taught me that a clean house is essential for peace of mind. You told me to never go to bed mad at someone I love.

So mother, as I reflect on the day we went through together today, I want you to know that the way you care for me will never go unnoticed. You are a kickass, professional woman, but also a pretty fun lady to be around. Thanks for your wisdom.

Thanks for everything.

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