“Missing you comes in waves, and tonight I’m drowning…”
Scribbling those words in my journal, my heart aches, and like salt in the sea, I realize some memories never leave, they simply become a part of you. The memories of my grandmother continue to stay ingrained in me and each day my insides twist, with the realization that losing my grandma meant I lost a part of me that I would never get back, that the day she left this world would never just be a date on the calendar, but the day my existence changed forever.
There are days when I feel numb. The aching in my heart-wringing me out dry. The tears that had stormed my face are no more. As if the winter wind was blowing on my skin, my insides feel raw. My last moments with her replaying like a broken record in my head, taunting me. I think part of me knew the last time I saw her, would be the last. That must have been the reason why I sobbed so hard when it came time to leaving her. My heart feels as if it has been ripped out of my chest and my head spinning as if I had just stepped off a rollercoaster. Like a knife being twisted up my spine, paralyzing my entire body.
There are days where I feel everything at once. Days where I can’t decide what’s worse. Drowning under the waves, or dying from the thirst. I’ve always heard that pain dulls with time. That things get better. But how do they? Is the reason the pain isn’t as intense anymore because I’ve forgotten? If things get better, is it because over time the memory escapes my mind and I no longer see her face or remember the sound of her voice? If getting past the pain means forgetting her, then I would rather choose to suffer my entire life remembering.
She was never my grandmother by blood. She had been a dear friend to my family, but she quickly became more than a close friend. She became family, a part of my family. She was a mother to my mother and father whose parents’ had passed away or were thousands of miles away. And she became a grandmother, a friend, and a mentor to my brother and I.
Remembering the day when I first met her and the way she’d look at me as if I could do no wrong. When she looked at me I felt like I could take on the world, because of her eyes I saw the love, adoration, and belief she had in me. And even now, remembering her, I know I will forever remember the way she looked at me then, and every time after that. Eyes overflowing with love, and a smile as bright as the stars in the sky, with no city lights to dim them. She had a laugh that filled any house with warmth, a touch that turned any dish into something incredible, and heart overfilled with love for anyone she met in life. She meant the world to me, and losing her left me wandering, searching for memories and pictures of us. Anything to hold on to. Truthfully, I am afraid that one day I’ll forget the sound of her laugh, the warmth of her voice, her smell, and her soft hands, decorated with wrinkles. I’m afraid that one day I won’t be able to remember our conversations or my last memory with her.
Deep down I know she would have wanted me to move on. To remember the good and know that wherever I go in life her blessings will always be with me. And if she could see me now, lost and afraid, I have a feeling she’d wrap her arms around me and tell me that this is the reality of life. Just as she always reminded me when I’d go to her upset. She showed me that love has no boundaries, that laughter is the best medicine next to comfort food and that I am stronger than I think. Every hurdle I faced, she was always there to wipe my tears and pick me up. The years I’ve spent with her have taught me so much, much more than words can even express. She has inspired me to put my heart in everything I do, to open my heart to others, and to live my life through smiles and laughter. I know that I am who I am today, because of her. It is because of her that I have realized the importance of taking the good with the bad, smiling when I am sad, loving what I have, and remembering what I’ve had. She has shown me the strength in forgiving, from learning rather than regretting my mistakes and to see, that even though people may change, even though things may go wrong, we must look deep within us to find the strength to believe that life does indeed go on.
Not a day goes by where I don’t find myself missing her, or looking longingly at the gifts she’s given me as I’ve grown up. Why is it that sometimes strangers become our own, and our own become strangers to us? That ties of the heart are often stronger that ties of blood and relation? I often think that the answer lies in my past life. In past life she must have been someone very special and important to me, to have met her and loved her in this life. Despite the heartbreak that has come with her passing, I know her love will never fade, it will always be with me, wherever I go. It will fly with the birds, sing to me through the breeze, and hug me in times of need. Her smiles and laughter will be in the stars that decorate the night sky. Her huge heart and positive disposition will forever continue to inspire me as I take on new challenges. And whenever I feel myself giving up, I will close my eyes and remember the way she looked at me. Eyes full of love, adoration, and belief in me. Even when I failed to believe in myself, she always showed me that I am much more than I give myself credit for.
I fell in love with the way she spoke, the way she loved, and the way she laughed. I loved her for her heart of gold and the way she made everyone feel loved, appreciated… important. And I will continue loving her, treasuring her in every way I can and carrying a part of her wherever I go. Because once you fall in love with someone, it becomes impossible to remove them from your heart.