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




  1. jwuollife says:

    I totally understand your feelings. I lost my mother on 25th February, and it’s still extremely difficult to live with. There are times, when she should be with me, & isn’t. Times, when I want to talk to her & tell her about my day, but I can’t. But….I am a proven believer that; the Soul/Spirit goes on, so I know my Mum is around me always, just like your Grandmother will watch over you.
    Travel Safe.

  2. The Broken Spine says:

    Hi Andrea, I’m glad I came across this post and I’m truly sorry for your loss. It helps to know that other people are going through the same thing and feeling the same way. I’m flying to Maryland tomorrow for my grandma’s funeral and it has been a rough few days. She lived a long and wonderful life. She would have been 90 in a couple of weeks, which seems to make it that much harder.

    I hope you’re finding comfort and peace knowing and remembering what a wonderful person she was.

    • Andrea| Cooking with a Wallflower says:

      Hi Erica, I am soo sorry for your loss. It will definitely be hard for awhile. It was the same with my grandma. If she had lived to see this birthday, she would have turned 90 this year also. I know how cliche it sounds, but it does get easier. I was an emotional wreck for the first couple weeks, and I was in denial, constantly thinking that I’ll see her again, but then it got a little easier. At least, for the most part. Every once in awhile something will make you remember a moment with her and you’ll be filled with sadness and grief, but it does get easier over time. Take comfort by surrounding yourself with family and friends. They will be a great support system. And if you need to talk, feel free to message me. *hugs*

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