My Grandpa John.

by Julia
(South Carolina)

In July of 2009, my father told me that my grandpa had cancer and a small amount of time left to live. That night I didn't sleep at all and couldn't stop bawling. He hadn't even died yet, but I was so distraught. He lived in New York and I live in South Carolina, so I couldn't see him until August. I missed my first day of high school because we were traveling home. I don't regret that at all though, those few extra days with him were so precious. My grandpa and I watched old episodes of 'Bonanza' on TVLand and played rummy nonstop. We never had to talk much, we were comfortable in each other's silence. We didn't talk about his disease and we didn't acknowledge that it was the last time we would see each other, but we both knew. Leaving him to go home was so painful and terrible. Grandpa died on Halloween night. That night when I was hanging out with my best friend Lynn, I could tell something wasn't right. I told her that I had an overwhelming feeling that he was gone and my parents weren't telling me, as to not ruin my fun time. When we were driving Lynn home I asked my dad flat-out if he was keeping it from me and if Grandpa was really gone. He got so, terribly quiet and then he said yes. I thought it might be a cruel joke for a second, but deep down I had already known. The thirty-minute car ride stretched on forever and I was crying so much. When we went up to New York for the funeral, it didn't feel real. I can't even remember the trip up to New York. I barely remember the hotel we stayed in. All I remember is his funeral. I cried like a child the whole time. I grieved for more than a year, and fell into a deep depression. It's been three and a half years since that night. I still cry every once in a while, usually getting misty-eyed, but no extreme waterworks. Tonight, though. Tonight was different. My grandmother and I have always had a strained relationship. I haven't talked to her in a month and today on the phone she was talking to my father about visiting in September. I started internally freaking out as I laid in my bed, going over my Grandpa's memory. I can't imagine what it will be like without his presence in the house. After his funeral, he wasn't there, but I was surrounded by family members and was trying to numb the pain so it didn't really affect me. I have no idea how I'll be able to sit on the couch without bawling. I'm scared and heartbroken and I have no idea what to do. I don't know why tonight has been so bad. I've been crying for an hour straight and I can't sleep. I want to talk to someone about it, but I don't want to look like an idiot that still hasn't gotten over it. I don't like being melodramatic. I'm just so torn up over this. I haven't even seen his gravesite. He had a military funeral in a large cemetery and the funeral director drove his casket to his grave, and we had the funeral in a small enclosure in the graveyard. I want to be able to go see him, pay my respects. But I can't. I just don't know what to do. This website is helping a bit, though. It feels good to write it out so I can stop mulling over it in my head.

Comments for My Grandpa John.

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Jul 20, 2012
To Doreen:)
by: Julia

Thank you so, so much. I've written my Grandma a letter talking about Grandpa and how she might take me to see his grave. You've helped me so much, you have no idea. I wish you the absolute best. Thank you.

Jul 20, 2012
My Grandpa John
by: Doreen U.K.

Julia I am sorry for your loss of your Grandpa John. You have such special memories and I am glad you got to have some quality time with your grandpa.
I know you don't have a good relationship with your grandma. Try Try as hard as it is to forge some time and moments together. That way you won't live with regrets that you had the opportunity and didn't take it. It is difficult to have a relationship with some people and it won't always be easy. But if you don't make the effort you won't know. You may just redirect your pain and have memories that will last forever and help you. You can also go for bereavement counselling. I think you would benefit from this support. You will emerge from this grief stronger and be in a happier place. But remember GRIEF has its day. It can take forever. But the pain will get less over time.
You are not being an idiot. You will cry and cry and cry. This is raw grief. perhaps you may want to visit your grandpa's gravesite. You may want to go with your grandma. This suggestion may be an icebreaker in trying to know your grandma. She just may love you for it and be the start of something better for you in the days ahead.

Jul 19, 2012
it's ok to cry
by: Anonymous

I would say to you that it's ok to cry all you want and to still cry! You are not being not be ashamed of your feeling. As you probably know, we all grieve differently and for some it can take a very long time. You loved so much and that is why it stillhurts so much. You are a great, great, person. Sometime if we don't deal with things, try to push it away because we feel pressured to be on some grief timeline it makes it worse. That can turn into unresolved grief or prolonged grief. Possibly you should talk to someone, anyone who will listen....a grief counselor, therapist, friend. Someone who will not judge, but just listen. You are not alone. It's so hard for those of us left behind to live the rest of our lives without someone we loved so, so much. I wish you peace and strength...

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