It has been an awful week. Both my beloved grandparents died on Saturday just hours apart from each other. The loss has devastated our family and their community.
We were preparing for my grandpa’s passing the last few weeks and I even took a trip to say my final goodbyes in person. I spent a few days with my family helping them get through the anticipatory grief and creating legacy building activities. We made several canvases with his handprints, so that everyone could have a little piece of him in their home. We also made a beautiful clay mold of both my grandparent’s hands side by side. I thought this would be something my grandma could always treasure, now the family is.
As my grandpa’s condition worsened and my grandma suddenly became very ill, I had to say my final goodbyes through FaceTime. It was incredibly difficult to compose my thoughts and actually speak on them, as I knew that by saying it, I was accepting the fact that they would no longer be with us.
It was one the hardest things that I have ever faced, but I did it.
The grief struck instantly and I was drowning in the sea of emotions.
I was alone in my home and wailing uncontrollably. I frantically called my husband and close friends to help me get through this critical time.
They were my life boats.
As the next several days have passed, I found myself still stuck in the ocean waters. The waves roll in unexpectedly and I am flooded with memories and emotions. Sometimes the tide is low and I feel incredibly isolated and numb or I am caught in a rip current bringing me back to the depths of the ocean with feelings of pain, anger and guilt.
I am incredibly grateful for my friends, family and colleagues. They have been throwing me life preservers to help me feel safe in such a critical time.
Thank you all for the phone calls, text messages, cards and emails.
As a person who usually takes the lead to help others through grief, this is the first time I am on both the giving and receiving end. It is a bizarre experience.
I have found strength knowing that my skills are helping my family to cope and also understand one another’s grief experience. We are becoming more united and will face this devastation together as a strong force.