Losing loved ones

My solution to dealing with difficult things is to stay busy. Cleaning things that are already spotless, studying for tests that I already know I’ll make an A on, returning phone calls, bathing the dog, cleaning the office at work even though someone else gets paid to do that, go to the gym. Stay busy and keep my mind off of it.

When you’re busy, you don’t have time to grieve. If you barely have enough time to sleep, you don’t have time for heartache.

The problem with that is that you can’t always stay busy. One day you’ll have everything clean, the dogs bathed, be caught up at work. You’ll be laying in bed with nothing to distract you and it will overwhelm you. It always catches up with you. You’re fooled into thinking that you’ve successfully hidden your feelings. That’s not the case, and they come back and bombard you at your weakest moment.

Which leads me to this blog post.

My papa got diagnosed with cancer in late 2009. Fast forward to 2013 and he’s still fighting and we’re all amazed because he was initially only given 6 months to live. In February, they found a brain tumor and we knew it wouldn’t be much longer. At the end of April, I attended an out of state wedding with my boyfriend. When I was on the way home, my dad called and said that I needed to stop by papa’s because things weren’t looking too good. We stopped and I knew it was bad before I even walked in the door. I wish I could say that I was strong and comforted my grandmother, but that would be a lie. I sat down in the middle of the living room floor and cried like a baby. He was unconscious; he wouldn’t know. I kissed him on the forehead and told him that I loved him. That was the last time I saw him. I never took off work; I needed the distraction. I stole little moments to help organize the memorial and pick out music. I shoved all of my emotion away and focused on just doing whatever I could to help my mother and grandmother. We had a memorial service later that week and then I took finals. Busy busy busy. The summer term started 3 days after that.

But you can never avoid all of it coming back. My papaw passed away Tuesday night. He’ was my step dad’s father, and the last grandpa I had left. The summer term has ended, and I still have a whole four days before the fall term begins. Everything at work is caught up. I have nothing to distract myself, and I’m crying as I write this post. When there’s nothing to keep you busy, emotions start bubbling back up. I find myself sitting here thinking about Papa, when he died months ago. Everyone else has already grieved and moved on, and I think my grieving process is just now really starting.

Does it get easier to lose loved ones as you get older? Not really.

When I was 13, one of my best friends was killed in a car crash. Now I’m 20, and it’s just as hard knowing that your my papa and papaw are gone.

It’s never easy losing a loved one, whether it was something expected due to an illness or if it was due to an unexpected accident and  that initial shock of being told that they are gone is so overwhelming  that we become frozen in such a state of disbelief. I’ve lost people I loved in both says. There are moments of happiness when you realize that the person you cared about is no longer suffering. There are moments when you wonder why your friend was taken at such a young age.

CIMG3052947037_10200663251319771_401509820_nTracy and Papa; Graduation 2011

But it doesn’t get easier.

 

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5 thoughts on “Losing loved ones

  1. I am sorry for your loss and pain. It is a good thing that he’s no longer suffering, but I know you wish he got better instead. If only the world worked that way…

    I understand what you’re going through. Lost my grandmother to lung cancer when I was 8. It felt like losing my mother, since she and my great grandmother were the ones who raised me. Even now, I’ll be looking through old awards I got or pictures I drew, and find a photo of her.

    And yes, that’s when I’ll cry and keen, because it doesn’t get easier.
    It just gets hidden.

  2. My condolences. However, I think it does get easier, especially if you have a large family and a large family of friends, when you reach the age that everyone is dying, you kind of become used to it. I mean, we all die.

    I come from a large Mormon and Catholic family, none of whom knew about birth control or anything like that, and I tend to make friends rather easily. I’m 58 and have had so many family members and friends die that I don’t even go to funerals anymore. If I were to go to all the funerals each year for all the people I know who died, I’d be broke and homeless.

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