I have a confession to make…
Sometimes I have a tendency to neglect important people in my life. I don’t call or write as many people as I should. Yes, I’ve been aware of this bad habit for a number of years – I think I first noticed it when I went off to college. But amazingly enough, I haven’t done much to change, especially in regards to one particular person. And now I have a major regret.
My grandpa passed away last week, and his death has been quite hard on me. The concept of death doesn’t scare me because fortunately, I have a strong belief that death is not the end of someone’s life. Rather it is the mark of progression from one stage of life to another. I also believe that the relationships that we have with our loved ones continue beyond the grave. So Grandpa’s passing isn’t difficult in that respect. It’s difficult because I know that I could have shown my love for him much more often and in ways that were meaningful to him.
You see, he’s one of those people that I rarely call/ed.
I fell into the trap that most of us can’t avoid: the business of life. Grad school, work, traveling, dating, illness, hanging out with friends, etc, etc. You all know what I’m talking about. I rarely visited for the same reasons, but my ability to see him was compounded by the fact that I don’t have a car and I can’t just hop in and take a weekend to see him or other family members who live fairly close by. Other factors complicated the situation, as well, but overall, I’m the one to blame for my lack of communication. In the end there’s no excuse for my behavior. And I have to live with the fact that I didn’t listen to that little voice in the back of my head that would tell me to pick up the phone and call. Believe me when I tell you that it sucks.
The one thing that brings me comfort is the knowledge I have deep down that he loved me and was proud of me. And I know that he had that same feeling tucked away in his heart. I just wish I had done a better job showing that to him.
I know that I’ll be grieving for a while – I don’t expect to rebound very quickly from losing Grandpa. He and Grandma were the only grandparents I knew and they were a huge part of my life. I have thousands of precious memories of him and Grandma – I had an idyllic childhood, and they were major contributors to that. So it’s normal that it will take me a while to fully grieve. Just as a forewarning to those of you who read this regularly: plan on seeing a few more posts about him. They’ll be quite personal and probably a little long. If you don’t like long posts, either kindly get over it or don’t read them. They’ll be my way of sorting through the waves of thoughts and emotions that I have as I go through this process. So they’ll be here as soon as I’m ready to write them.
My good friend, Monica, wrote something several months ago on her blog that helped me out a lot. The funny thing is that I never knew she had a blog. In fact I stumbled upon for the first time only today. Finding it and reading several of her posts was like opening tiny presents from a kind and loving Heavenly Father who knows how much my heart hurts. She wrote one particular post during a time that her heart was hurting and broken. Even though the context of our pain is different, what she said felt like a breath of fresh air and it gave me hope that not only will I get through this, but one day, I’ll be able to tell Grandpa that I’m sorry. So thanks, Monica, for reminding me to not focus on the ground and look up instead. Thanks to you, today my heart already feels a little bit lighter…