Ever lost someone you loved? I have. Most of us have. And with them a part of the world went missing. You can’t have it back. You really can’t. It’s scary as all hell and it hurts like hell.
When I lost my mom I was six years old. I can’t remember much of what she was like. I still remember the pain of losing her though. If I think about it I get tears in my eyes. I panic. I get the impression of leaning against a wall that disappears suddenly and you are left falling onto the ground with a big bang.
When I lost my granddad (mom’s dad) I was 24. Grandpa was like my surrogate dad. All my grandparents have been like my parents since mom died. I found out a month before he died that he was going to die. We were on the Canary Island for Christmas – I had come home from London to be with the family and as we came back to the airport there was this awful voice calling us on the speakers saying we should contact the office. My gran had called to say granddad was in the operation room. My sister cried hysterically all night. I think her world fell apart then. She was only a year old when mom died and she loved grandpa above and beyond.
We found out he was dying the next day and I sat down to write him a letter, saying all I ever wanted to say about how much he meant to me. I had to go back to London, but flew back to see him a week or so before he died. It’s the only time I’ve seen grandpa in a bad mood. He was my pillar of strength. He was like a ray of sunshine – always happy. He got angry with me fair and square (and without menace) when he thought I was rude, or wasn’t on time (that’s nine times out of ten), or broke some rule or other, but he was never sulky, or down. He’d do anything for the family. I see their old Volvo coming driving to the rescue whenever something happened. I used to live with them quite a lot during high school and coming home to him and gran was the most secure thing in the world. They were simple, straight forward and easy to be around. When he finally died I cried a little, but I was ready for it. I’d said what I wanted to say and I felt like I was in a good place. I was still studying, I was enjoying my life and I had a boyfriend to help me through it all.
Last year my gran on dad’s side became senile and even though she’s still alive, to reach her properly is impossible. I thought I’d handle it well and maybe I did, as I guess I was the one who still managed to talk to her (showing her pictures in old books I’d given her, magazines, etc….basically just trying to give her a chance of participating in the moment, not in a fantasy), but I still feel like my heart is breaking. I heard her voice on the phone for my birthday and I burst out crying like a baby. Maybe because I never had that final chat with her. Maybe because I wasn’t at a stabile point in my life. Maybe because I don’t have a boyfriend to lean on. Maybe because I can’t visit her all the time. I don’t know, but losing her has been rough. I just think she should be there when anything happens in my life. Like, how can I get married without gran? And whenever I need support, there’s no one to call that will give me the same loving understanding.
Having these people in my life has been one of the best things ever. People make up my life. They make me smile. They hug me. They make me laugh. They share the good times and the bad times with me. They are the security net insurance can’t buy. Without people my life would be dead. When one person leaves that hurts. The great thing is that there are so many people out there just waiting to be discovered by you – people who you will share your life with. People who will be a joyous part of your life. Don’t be scared to love, because there will always be love. Always. It changes shape like everything else, but it never leaves you.