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Letter to Everyone Who Has Lost a Loved One

by amanda harvey.........................................

To Everyone Who Has Lost a Loved One:
I recently lost my grandpa on July 27, 2007. It was pretty hard and still is because I was really close to him. I have been living with my grandparents for the past three years to help them with my seven year old cousin, Taylor, who they have been raising since he was two years old. On July 26, my grandpa had surgery on a main artery in his neck but it was about 90 percent blocked. He was fine when he came out of surgery and he was joking around with everyone. The next day, they let him go home and we went and picked him up. We got home around 1 pm and he went upstairs to his room to lay down. We kept checking up on him and around 11 pm my grandma and Taylor went upstairs so he could give Grandpa a kiss goodnight. While they were doing that I went outside to talk to my aunt. A couple seconds later Taylor came running outside and shouted that Grandpa wasn't breathing. My grandma called an ambulance and then she called all my aunts and uncles.
I immediately felt the change around the house right after the EMTs took my grandpa and all of my aunts and uncles left. An eerie silence went throughout the whole house that let us know that he is gone and he's never going to come back. I used to fall asleep listening to the rhythm of his oxygen machine, but now it's gone. It's harder for us to sleep at night because he's not here to keep us safe. At night whenever I would come down stairs he would be sitting in his chair and for the first couple of days I kept expecting to see him sitting there. My grandpa and I would argue about who would get the blueberry doughnuts, he'd usually let me have them, but now that he's gone eating them just isn't the same.
The person I'm most worried about is my grandma. Her and my grandpa would have been married for 49 years on August 23. After he died, she was quiet and would hardly eat anything. She doesn't sleep that well at night and she often takes naps during the day, more than she used too, if someone's there to watch Taylor. Her and my grandpa would go to their friends house on Saturdays to play cards. Now she goes by herself and when I ask her if she had fun she tells me no because it's not the same anymore without him. As the days go by, she's starting to get back to her old self but it's going to take a long time.
My seven year old cousin, Taylor, isn't really understanding that Grandpa's gone and isn't coming back. My grandpa was the only dominant male influence in his life. The first couple of days he would get really angry and yell at people if they start talking about Grandpa. When I asked him why he didn't want people to talk about Grandpa, he said because it makes him feel sad. I told him he has to talk about Grandpa so he doesn't forget him and now he talks about him all the time. It's going to take a while for him to understand about what happened.
I have encountered feelings of guilt after my grandpa passed away. I felt guilty because I was in the room across from him when he passed away and I felt like it was my fault because I kept picturing him trying to yell for help and I couldn't hear him. I've change in a lot of ways since he's been gone. I tell my family I love them a lot more than I used too.
Losing someone you love and are close to is the hardest thing, I think, anyone can go through. It's like you can't feel anything or think straight after it happens. When they leave it's like they take a piece of you with them, like your heart. You can never know how it feels until you lose someone you love. It is unwise to underestimate the impact of any death, for something of ourselves has passed, too. Grief can make us more present for anyone struggling to except the demise of a dear loved one. We gather photographs as we gather memories, and we memorialize our loved ones. We recognize their own special dignity, a dignity modern life may have been remiss in seeing. We come back to a kind of deep and abiding love learned generations ago in the life of our family. Everyone always asks if the pain ever goes away and the answer is no, it doesn't. Even though they are not there anymore and you can't see them doesn't mean they're gone. They're watching over us and looking after us. Just remember the good times you've had and it will keep their memories alive.


Amanda Harvey

Comments would be appreciated by the author, amanda harvey

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