It has been one of the most difficult things to try to write, but something inside me told me I should at least try. On the first anniversary of my Grandmother’s passing, here’s an open letter I would imagine myself writing to her if I could get it to her in heaven:
I can’t believe it’s been a year since you passed. But nonetheless, here I sit, a year after you left this world to be with God and rest of the family members that have gone on before us. There’s so much I want to say to you, and so much I want to hear you say back to me.
This has been the worst year of my life. I never did accept the idea that I would lose you. Somehow I always believed I would leave this world before you did. Maybe that was my subconscious way of not dealing with your passing, or maybe that’s how I actually wanted things to be. Either way, here we are a year later, and I’m left struggling through this life without you.
Regardless of the reasons why, and regardless of all my hopes and wishes, I find myself now trying to carry on some kind of existence without you here. I try to put on a brave face, try to carry on like I’m supposed to, but without you here to talk to, to share our laughter, to cry, to fuss and complain about things, I’m simply going through the motions of everyday life feeling just as empty as one human being can feel. There’s nothing in this world that can fill the void where your presence was.
Every Sunday when I visit your grave I stand there crying, asking why this happened and why it happened to you. Not being able to see you or talk to you and tell you how much I love you rips me apart inside. I realize people might think I should be farther along in this thing they call a “grieving process,” but I just can’t move on from where I am.
I’m also angry. I’m extremely angry that whatever happened after your surgery happened, and that the doctors attributed it to your “age.” Those people never knew your spirit and how agile and strong you were. My mind is constantly filled with thoughts of vengeance and ways to avenge your leaving us. I know it’s not right to feel this way, but I can’t help it. If people could understand exactly how much you mean to me, maybe they would somehow understand wanting justice. Evidently, however, it must not be meant to be in this world, so I have to wait on God to make things right. I just wish God’s timetable was much quicker.
When I went to Cassi’s graduation party a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but think about how you wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Aunt Estelle was there, and as I sat beside her, I couldn’t help but see you in her eyes. I had to leave earlier than I had planned, simply because I couldn’t stop crying because you weren’t there. I’ve never stopped crying, it seems. I don’t believe a day goes by where I don’t shed tears over losing you and asking God why your passing had to happen.
I guess I’m supposed to go on living in this world, but I have to say it’s the hardest thing to do without you in it. I know I can feel you close to me in spirit, and I know you wouldn’t trade your spot in heaven to come back here for anything in this world, but I wish I was with you; right here, right now. I don’t know how I’m getting by, day-after-day, trying to put on a happy face and acting as if everything is okay. Others may not be able to see through the façade I put up for the world to see, or maybe they can (either way, I really don’t care. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why we can’t grieve openly without ridicule; I guess that’s just the way our culture is wired). Inwardly, however, I’m just a ball of raw, grieving nerves that I just can’t work out. I know you realize how much I love you and miss you, and I know you can understand so much more now than I can on this earthly realm. I pray to God and beg him to help me understand, but that understanding just doesn’t come. I hope when I do see you again on the other side, you can sit down and explain it all to me – because I’ll never understand how I could lose you while I’m on this earth.
Until then, know that I love you with every fiber of my being, every minute of the day. I’m sure I’ll shed tears everyday for the rest of my life for you, and I can’t wait until those tears of grief and heartache turn to tears of joy when I can finally see you on the other side. Give my love to all our family you’re with now, and let them know I can’t wait to see them either.
I love you, Grandma!