Dealing with the grief and loss of a Grandfather.

Every grandson has their own special relationship with their grandfather, but mine was incredibly close. Growing up I spent so much time hanging out and bonding with him, it was one of my favorite past times. He would call me out of school and take me to his house when I was sick, he drove me to school for years and every morning he would stop somewhere and buy me breakfast. Another thing he would always take me to do with him is go to his doctors appointments, and pretty soon all of the doctors and nurses loved me. Every memory I have of those times I will cherish, he was my best friend.

When I was a senior in high school my dad moved 5 hours away to begin a new career and by this time my grandfather was in a nursing home right down the street from my school. I made my best effort to go see him as much as I could because I know he loved spending time with me, even if it was just sitting in the car together. Looking back I feel extremely guilty and I think to myself “what more could I have done?” The fact of the matter is I was still so young and one of the things I am just now realizing is that I was so young and I couldn't handle everything on my own.

Soon enough I moved 5 hours away, right by my dad, to attend the University in his town. Soon after we moved my grandfather down and I still feel as though I could have done more to see him, and the guilt is still there. The last few months he was alive I let my own selfish issues and anger get in the way, and recently I have had the most difficult time coping with that. I had the option of going to see him one last time, but I was headed out of town and I was sad and angry and my thoughts were “I will be back in a week and see him then,” however, I did not get that next visit. I got a call from my dad and he was at the hospital with my grandfather and the doctors knew he would not make it through the night. My dad laid his phone down by my grandfathers ear and I said in tears “I love you so much grandad and I appreciate everything you have done for me.” Not even 5 minutes later my father texted me saying my grandfather “was in heaven now.”

5 months have now passed and all of these feelings of guilt are resurfacing. Why did I choose those selfish actions? Could I have gone to see him more? What more could I have done? There are so many unanswered questions.

Lately, however, I have been reading a lot of personal growth books and I just learned about “The 5 Stages of Grief and Loss” which I will do more research on. I know these processes take time and nothing changes over night. I have a very hard time opening up to my friends and family about my own grief and sadness, but will continue to work on it. One of the positives about this situation is now I feel as though I have a greater purpose on this earth, and that is to make my grandfather proud. Although he struggled with his own issues, he always gave 110% in everything he did. I still have quite a ways to go, but with the help of his spirit with me I know I can overcome any obstacle.

Thank you for the amazing love and support, the amazing childhood, even when it was very rough, the amazing vacations, and the amazing memories. And as always, I love you Granddad.

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