I have wrote this blog post about 10 times already and could never bring myself to publish it. I always promised that I would be real and transparent no matter what was going on in my life - good, bad, otherwise - I was all in on this page, but this one is hard. You would think that it would be "easier" for me because I am a Grief Counselor and I work in the death and grief world, and to be honest, I kind of felt that way too. I thought that I knew what I would feel and how it would affect me - "I know how to help those who are grieving so I've got this!" Spoiler alert: I did not have it.
It has been about 6 weeks since my grandpa died and it still does not feel real. I think that is why it has been so hard to write this blog post, I just cannot believe it. You see, I was having a really hard with my anxiety and the thought of getting the vaccine. My mind was playing tricks on me and I was certain that I would have all the bad side effects. I had made the very personal decision to not get the vaccine and just be cautious (masks, social distancing, quarenting, etc.). That decision blew up in my face. My grandpa had not been doing great for awhile now, but when his final decline came, it came fast and hard. None of us were prepared. He had lived in an assisted living facility for years and so I had been able to come visit him by sitting outside on their patio, being masked and keeping a distance, but when he went downhill and could no longer walk, I lost the ability to see him. His facility was still on internal lock down and was not allowing unvaccinated people in to visit. The cruel reality of the situation hit me like a brick wall - I was not going to be able to say goodbye.
I remember sobbing on the phone to my mom saying "it's okay, I know that he loves me and he knows that I love him. I will be okay." But to be honest, I am not sure I will ever really "get over" this. We were able to send some videos back and forth to each other, but it was not the same. My mom said that when he would watch the videos he would sit there mouthing "I love you" over and over again. That just broke me. It has made me realize how hard this year has been on everyone. All the people who had to say their goodbyes and I love you's over FaceTime/on the phone. It is SO HARD. How is anyone supposed to move on from that?
Everyone keeps telling me that I am so lucky I even got 31 years with him and I should just be thankful for that and while that is true, it also makes it incredibly difficult. For 31 years I have been able to call him whenever I need some love, advice, support, etc. and he was always there and now he isn't. I won't ever get to hug him again. I won't get to hear him say "Do you know how much I love you? You are so special to me." I don't get his hold his hand. I am so happy I had all that time with him, but I just miss him. I aspire to be half the person he is every day of my life. I love you grandpa.