Life After Loss

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming.” – Vicki Harrison

Life After Loss - Grandma's Birthday

It’s been nearly four and a half months since my grandma passed. Some days it gets easier and other days not so much. Recently, it’s been the latter.

I don’t normally write personal posts. I focus on food, and lately, travel. But I’ve been overwhelmed with a sense of loss, and I only know how to write how I feel. So today, I’m sharing a more personal post, just as I did a few months ago, here. Thank you for all the stories you shared with me and for getting me through that difficult period.

And just as before, it’s okay to skip this post since it’s not one of my usuals.

The thing is, today was supposed to be the day we celebrate Grandma’s birthday. It’s not exactly on her birthday. It usually isn’t. We try to schedule her birthday dinner either on a Saturday or a Sunday so that we can all attend.

Every single year for as long as I can remember, we pick a nice Chinese restaurant in San Jose, everyone dresses up, and we go out for dinner. The girls will wear dresses and the guys will wear a dress shirt and a tie. It’s that kind of event. One that we all look forward to each year because it’s when our family comes together and celebrate.

Which makes even more difficult as the day we had picked out months in advance approaches.

I was always close to my grandma. Every weekend, I would be at her house to hang out. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing anything important. It just mattered to her that I was there. She liked having family around. And so I was always visiting during the weekends, just a day, but sometimes longer when there’s a long weekend.

And so now that she’s gone, I’m a little at a loss. My weekends are now free, except for work, and I’m struggling to fill that gaping hole in my life.

It was even more noticeable this past 4th of July weekend. I had five days off, but I didn’t realize it until it got closer because I never had to make plans for the holidays. I was always at Grandma’s house, so there was never a need for me to make plans. And suddenly I had all this time off with no plans. At least, not until the last moment.

And then of course, today, the day we are supposed to come together, with cousins and uncles and aunts flying in from other states and countries, to celebrate. This year was supposed to be a big celebration, where everyone was trying to make it, where Grandma gets to meet some of her great grandchildren for the first time. It makes it so much harder to keep it together.

Most days I’m okay. I’ve stopped wanting to cry at work, or on the bus, or as I’m walking home, but this weekend is just so much harder.

Especially since on the morning of Friday February 24th I had requested for Monday, July 10th off. I wanted extra time to spend with visiting family, to hang out, and to catch up. My request was granted that same morning. But late that same afternoon Grandma passed from cardiac arrest while I was at work. And I just left that day open because I didn’t know how I would feel.

Happy early Birthday, Grandma. I miss you <3

 

 

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82 comments

  1. travelstodge says:

    I do feel for you. I lost my nan (mum’s mum) who we were all close to and then exactly a week later I lost my Dad. The grief overwhelmed me to the point I stopped going out with friends and didn’t do anything. It’s only been now (three years later) that I’ve finally come to terms with it (not fully, I don’t think you ever will) and started to get my life back on track again. The memories and stories you have will never fade, and you will always talk about loved ones not here like they are going to walk through the door at any moment. Birthday’s and important dates in the calendar, not to mention when you hear a song or see something that reminds you of a loved one will always spark emotion, but that is due to the love you have for them. It’s healthy to let that emotion out, it’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign of love. It gets easier, I promise.

  2. emacuisine says:

    Echoes of the same pain…I even lost the desire to blog after losing both grans and mother (from whom my cooking motivation was derived) within 2 years and it took me a while to get back to my passions to blog and publish my books. The spirit seems to heal itself without looking or knowing, even with some tough memories and sporadic tears, things are better with time and loved ones. Prayers 🙏💞

  3. emacuisine says:

    Echoes of the same pain…I even lost the desire to blog after losing both grans and mother (from whom my cooking motivation was a motivation was derived) within 2 years and it took me a while to get back to my passions to blog and publish my books. The spirit seems to heal itself without looking or knowing, even with some tough memories and sporadic tears, things are better with time and loved ones. Prayers 🙏💞

  4. guyanesegirlhaitiansoul says:

    As human beings, it’s perfectly normal to mourn those who have meant a great deal to us during our lifetime. I was very close to my grandmother and her passing left a huge empty space for me for a long while. I often feel her presence and I have happy memories of her. Life is a passage and death causes a momentary separation. Your souls will be rekindled in another dimension. Stay strong.

  5. cameron369 says:

    You’re still allowed to “feel,” Drea. It took me a long time to get over the pain of losing my dad, then mom, and others throughout the years. So it’s been less than a few months – give yourself time to heal and don’t forget the fond memories you and your grandmother shared. I wish I could see you and share with you some of the recipes my mom shared with me; we’d have a blast… 🙂

  6. nykeypad says:

    Hi Andrea, my nana (mom’s mom) died when I was 26 going on 27; I lost my grandma (dad’s mom) the year before. When grandma died I felt sad, yet when nana died my world crumbled. Like you, I was in her house a lot (she lived in the building next door to us, where we moved her a few years after papa died so she’d be closer). Grandparents are special. I read your post and remembered it was so sudden. We had just celebrated her 80th birthday, and then she got pneumonia. I still miss her today. Hugs and strength to you. <3

  7. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says:

    Andrea – Thank you for sharing such a personal post. My grandmother passed away last August quite suddenly, so I can emphasize with your situation. She was one of the major reasons why I loved (and still love) cooking and baking. I hope that you’re able to reflect on the happy memories despite the difficulty and grief. I had to return to teaching only two weeks after my grandmother passed away and had a few break downs at work. It was helpful to have such a great support system to help me through. I hope that you find some peace.

  8. Elena says:

    I’m glad that you were able to spend so many precious hours with your grandmother. Give yourself lots of time and be patient with yourself. Perhaps honour her memory with a small gesture of love every day and then go about the rest of your day as she would want you to live it. She would have had the best intentions for you, so by honouring that you are honouring her. All the best.

  9. lulu says:

    I recently wrote a post about my mother. You never get over thinking about or missing people who have been an important part of your life.

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