I remember this all as if it were yesterday.

It even still hurts like it was yesterday. My heart still breaks, even though I have pieced it all together time and time again. Though, the pieces don`t fit together like they did before they were broken.

When I think about it for too long, tears spring to my eyes, and fall down my cheeks as memories drift through my mind. The tears become a river, and before I know it, I have sailed down it, and feel as if I am drowning.

Sobs happen, and then it is like I am there, right there, once again.

It was January 24th. It was her birthday.

I got home from school and my dad was on the phone. He was speaking spanish, so I knew for sure he was talking to my Grandma or Grandpa. His face and body language told me, something was wrong.

I knew in my heart, that it was her.

I still don`t know how I knew.

It was like I could feel it in my heart.

She was my whole world.

I loved her so much. Her smile could light the world. Her spirit and soul were incredible. Everything about her, was amazing. Pure amazing. I talked to her about everything and anything. She was my best friend.

When he got off the phone, it was like everything was slow motion. I didn`t want to hear whatever it was that he was going to say.

`Grandma had a stroke.`

And just like that, tears sprang to my eyes and instantly were flooding my cheeks. My heart shattered and I fell to the floor in instant despair. Breathing became difficult and my world had suddenly changed.

My Grandma was my best friend. I told her everything. She made me feel like I could do anything in the world. She made me believe in myself. She always thought the best of me. I loved her so much.

I was 15 now. It was almost my birthday. I knew that a stroke was not a good thing.

`She is going to be okay.`

He said it calm. He was my hero, so I knew he just had to be right. In my mind, he knew everything.

When she finally went home, my dad took me to visit.

I walked in through the door, and there she sat in the same chair she always sat in, but this time a walker was in front of her. This time her skin was pale. This time she didn`t have that sparkle in her eyes.

My heart raced. I thought she was going to be okay. I didn`t understand why she had a walker if she was fine.

We visited and then went home.

Every time I ever left my Grandparent`s house, I gave them both a hug and a kiss and said I love you. Every single time. For my entire life.

For some reason… I didn`t this time. I said good-bye. I gave her a kiss on her cheek. I didn`t mean to not say I love you. I was so afraid. Everything was different. She didn`t look the same, she didn`t move the same, she didn`t speak the same.

My Grandma died Feb 1 2006. A week after her birthday.

I was at the hospital when she died. I held her hand, and kissed her cold white cheek. I told her I loved her, but at this point, she didn`t hear. And as the machines turned off, I could feel her soul leaving and a rainfall of sadness pouring down on everyone. The world had lost a beautiful person.

I cried more than I had ever cried in my life. I don`t remember leaving the hospital, or going home, or anything. I just cried.

I went through the motions of the funeral, the gathering, and everything. I was numb. I could not imagine my life without her.

I remember a few weeks after, the last time I visited her played in my mind. This was the only time in my life that I did not say I love you before I left her.

It has been 13 years now, and there are times I still cry about this. I should have said I love you. I don`t know why I didn`t.

I lived with guilt for an immensely long time. I had such awful thoughts like what if she didn`t know I loved her? What if she died and never knew how much she meant to me?

I still feel sad I made this choice, but I think I was just so thrown off my how much she had changed in such a short amount of time.

I have found peace in knowing and believing that she knew I loved her.

We had a special relationship, and while her passing nearly broke me, I am so grateful for our years together.

What it taught me was to treasure time, and say the things I want to say, and not take a moment for granted. Of course I need to remind myself this sometimes, but I carry this in my heart with me.

I will forever miss her and I loved her so so dearly, but I think it`s finally okay to let her go and be at peace.

Good-Bye my dear Grandma

I love you always




9 thoughts on “The Missed Good-Bye

  1. you writing is so beautiful, and make me think about my grandma.
    i can’t believe that when i reading your post, and i start crying.

  2. This was such an emotional read, but I appreciate your honesty & I’m glad you’re starting to heal. Everybody grieves differently & although it’s hard not to feel responsible, you really shouldn’t.. People know how we feel, through our actions, not our words.

    Thank you for sharing such an open post.

    Pixee xo |

  3. This was so raw and beautiful. Very hard to read for me as I just lost my grandfather a few weeks ago. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful piece of writing.

  4. I was 11 when I first lost a Grandparent, I knew Nanny had “secondary cancer of the liver” but even though I’d asked my 16yo brother what that meant, I still didn’t understand. I had a day off school to travel and visit. I was frustrated at missing a fun day in my last year of primary school. I didn’t understand that the purpose of that trip was to say goodbye, that we wouldn’t see Nanny again. I went to the funeral and the cremation, and still it took over a year for me to understand that dead meant I wouldn’t see her again.
    I became incredibly jealous of people who remembered the last words a loved one ever spoke to them.
    My other three grandparents died suddenly and unexpectedly.

    I’ve always asked myself the same questions as you – did they know that I loved them so dearly? Did I tell them I loved them the last time I saw them?
    I envy those who have the chance to say goodbye, while also being glad that I didn’t have to watch their health decline.

  5. This is such a beautiful, yet hard post to read. Grief and loss is something we all experience but in such a diverse range of ways (all of which are okay). I struggle still with the passing of my father (it was quite a few years ago), which has its own complexities too. Thank you for sharing ?

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