Acknowledging My Drunken Thoughts

Myself with my Tata when I was a teenager.

Six years ago around this time I received some of the worst news. My grandpa (Tata) had been diagnosed with cancer. I just moved to San Francisco to start my first year of college. As soon as I heard what was going on I wanted to hurry home but my parents did not allow it. They told me that they did not know they details yet and wanted me to focus on school.

I got the news via social media — the last way I would ever want to find out about one of the most important people in my life being diagnosed with something so horrible. I saw the post my cousin posted and was confused and really hoped it wasn’t true. I called her and she told me what I didn’t want to hear. At that moment I began to sob in my dorm. I decided to call my parents — I was upset with them. Why hadn’t they told me? Why was I the last one to know?

My Tata was my father figure — he taught me how to tie my shoes and how to ride a bike. I lived with him for the first ten years of my life. He picked me up from school everyday even after we moved out.

The day I moved away when I was eighteen I was excited but scared to leave my Tata and Nana. They had seen me grow up and go through some of the toughest times. See, I’m their first grandchild to go to college and in that moment I hugged them goodbye I knew they were proud. Never did I think that that hug would be the last real hug that I’d get from my Tata.

As we drove away I imagined him being at my graduation with a big smile — but things did not work out like that.

I was told by my parents to wait until Thanksgiving break to see him — that he was doing fine. When my mom picked me up from the airport she warned me that my Tata did not look the same. He didn’t.

I walked into his room which used to be my childhood room. He was asleep when I arrived and I just stared at him. He was able to feel me there because as soon as he woke up he said “Hi mija, let me get up to give you a proper hug.” I said no and to rest. I sat there with him and held his hand. That was one of the hardest weeks for me. It was hard to see him struggle and suffer. He died two days after Thanksgiving and one day before I was supposed to go back to school.

I think about him and miss him everyday. Around this time the hurt worsens. Unfortunately, my feelings that I struggle with on a daily basis tend to come out more when I drink.

After I had finally gone back up to San Francisco after my Tata’s services it was hard for me to leave my dorm and interact with others. Some time went by and I was able to act like I was okay.

One night I decided to drink with some of my friends and it got out of hand. I ended up crying in my dorm room wanting to jump out of the window. I managed to open the window and get the screen off. Thankfully I had a friend there who was able to calm me down. In that moment I just wanted to be with my Tata.

Honestly, I’ve never had those kind of thoughts when I’m sober but for some reason similar feelings come up when I’ve had too much to drink around this time of year. It happened a couple of days ago and it scares me that somewhere in my mind I have those thoughts lingering and they come out when I’m most vulnerable.

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