The morning of June 16, 2015 I had just gotten to the top of my stairs to head down to go to school when I heard the worst sound in the world. My mom was breaking inside. I could hear her on the telephone and within that moment everything stopped, I just knew my Papa was gone.
It is weird to see where life takes you. I remember the day he passed I had my hair in a ponytail and I was wearing a scarf, and a long-sleeve blue dress. Today is June 16, 2016. It has been a year without him in our little world. Today was my last real day of school. I am wearing a "Wheelock College" t-shirt, and I feel pride that he is looking down on me. After our numerous college talks we had for years, I trust that he is happy with my decision and every next step that comes in my life.
An important thing I have learned to take in after losing someone you love is perspective.
It doesn't happen overnight. It is perfectly okay to let yourself fall apart at times and question life itself. I have; but I also have learned more than one way to look at it.
For example: This Sunday is my high school graduation. I have been imagining this to be very hard for me (it will be) , but I used to think the only way to view this was sadness. He won't be here to see me graduate, he is the one person I wanted to be there. However, this week I came to a realization that had made me smile. I had felt pity for my mother that Sunday is also Father's Day, but watching her first born graduate will be a healthy distraction. Also, how cool is that? On Father's Day, my Papa will see me graduate. He loves my school, and I know he is proud of me, so he wouldn't want it any other way. It will be a beautiful day.
This year has been rocky for many reasons, but I have gained the most lessons.
Before my Papa, I hadn't had much experience with loss. For him to be my grandfather, buddy, and father-figure all in one made it feel as though the world was ending. Everything just seemed darker without him, and I didn't view life the same way.
My first loss has taught me many things:
People will tell you "He is watching over you" "He is with you" and it is helpful, but awfully frustrating knowing that they are not physically here, and you don't really know.
I am just trusting his spirit, how he has always been the glue to our family, and how he has never missed an important event in our lives. This weekend I will be thinking of my grandpa very much, but I will be smiling reflecting on all he has taught me, and where he has brought me.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.