So, I haven’t been on here in years. I had forgotten that I had ever even started it. When I opened this page last night, I found that, in September of 2019, I had started writing about my papaw. I have no idea what was on my mind at that time to be able to continue it, but it spurred the spot in my brain that tells me to write. Since that time, I have experienced so much more loss than I had at that time. We all have.
I have lost the 2 most important men in my life that helped to make me who I am. My Daddy, and my Papaw. Don’t get me wrong. I love all of my grandparents, but I always had a very special connection with my Papaw. The loss of these to men from my life has changed me so much. I miss them so much more than I ever could have imagined.
I will start with Papaw. Cancer. That is what took my amazing Papaw. That man was a force to be reckoned with, let me tell ya. He loved God first. Always. He was stubborn as can be (I may have gotten that from him). He was a firm believer in hard work. He loved his family with all that he had. I could go on and on. What made him so special to me was that he made ME feel special. I had an odd connection with him that is hard to explain, and when I do try to explain it, people look at me like I am off my rocker. Not that I care. I used to, but not anymore. The connection that we shared…I always knew when something was wrong. It was a feeling that I would get–normally a few days before–when something was going to happen with him. It told me that I needed to call and check on him. The last time I ever felt it, was the day he passed. Right before he took his final breaths. I was in the kitchen pretending to eat my soup when it happened, and I just knew. I said something to everyone else. Don’t ask me what, because I do not remember. I hurried into the room he was in, and I was able to hold his hand for those breaths. The loss of that connection made me feel so lost. I still miss it as much as I miss him.
Daddy. I was a Daddy’s girl. My Daddy was the absolute best. A sudden heart attack. The widow maker. That’s what they call it. That’s exactly what it did. I didn’t believe my mom when she came to my house at 1:30am to tell me. Why my brain thought she would joke about something like that in the middle of the night, I don’t really know. Maybe it was just immediate denial. Not my Daddy. I just talked to him a few hours ago. He was fine. It couldn’t be. But it was.
We all wore Hawaiian shirts to his funeral, and we asked that everyone that came to do the same. He had so many. My mom, the kids, and I each claimed a couple of them. I took his Buckeyes Hawaiian. It was one of his favorites. He was somethin else. He was so funny, and everyone that met him loved him. Animals–even the ones that didn’t like people–loved him. He was quick witted and so sarcastic. What can I say? I learned from the best!
Grief sucks. One thing that others need to understand is that everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. These 2 men that mean so much to me in so many ways, passed 11 years apart. Guess what? Papaw’s death still hurts just as bad as Daddy’s (which was almost 3 years ago). A couple of weeks after Daddy passed, my uncle looked at me after I said I couldn’t get myself to go to the pool because it would be so much different without him, and he told me that I needed to get over it.
Please be patient with those that are grieving. Please remember that just because one person is able to get over something quickly, it doesn’t mean that others are able to do the same. Maybe it is taking me too long to come to terms. I don’t know. But don’t badger someone because they haven’t completed their grieving process in the length of time that you feel is appropriate. You know what is appropriate for you. They know what is appropriate for them. Be there for them. Don’t rush them. Listen to them. In my experience, the passing of a loved one is not something that you just get over. People say it gets easier, but for me, it doesn’t. I have learned to cope with it better, but I haven’t gotten over it. For any of those that I have lost.
Take your time. Only you know how to grieve for yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are taking too long. You do you. In case anyone needs this today…