When I was little, I would always think about what it would be like when I was a grown-up. I may not have known what I was going to do, but I always thought I knew what I was NOT going to do. I was not going to have rules that I had to follow (because afterall, grown-ups get to do whatever they want), I was not going to have to worry about not being able to buy stuff (because apparently when you grow up, money just falls in your lap) and I was not going to tell my kids "because I said so."
Not surprisingly, finally being a "grown-up" isn't all it's cracked up to be. I have done, many times over, all the things I said I wouldn't do. Besides having to hold a job, pay bills, make huge life decisions and try to raise a family, being a grown-up means you have to deal with things in life that you may not have dealt with as a child. Or if you did have to deal with it, it was just different.
I lost my grandmother when I was 8 or 9. It was sad, but as a child, I was not expected to handle it a certain way. I could cry if I wanted to, or I could simply act like it didn't affect me at all. I was also not expected to realize the finality of death. As a child, I was told that I would see my grandmother again one day and that she would be there watching over us. It wasn't until I was much older and enough time had passed that it didn't hurt as bad anymore, that I was able to really grasp what it meant to have to let a loved one go.
As I continued to get older, I lost some more people in my life. To be perfectly honest, while those other losses were sad, I wasn't as close to any of those people as I would have liked to have been. Until recently, I think the hardest loss in my life was the lost of my sister in law.
That changed on March 13, 2009. That night I lost my grandfather. Not only did I lose him, but I was with him when he breathed for the last time. I have always been close to my grandparents and have even lived right next door to them for the last 8 years. He had been sick, but it doesn't make that loss any easier. If I were still 9 years old, I could just kinda go about things and not really have to act or feel a certain way. I'm not 9 though and that sucks. Now, instead of worrying how I'm handling this loss, I have to worry about how my kids are handling it. It's a weird feeling to sit and tell my 9 year old all those things that were said to me so long ago when I was 9. I tell him that he will see his Papa again one day and that he will watch over us. I tell him that it's ok to cry and it's ok not to cry. I tell him that it's better that he's not suffering or sick anymore.
I tell Bailey all of those things and yet inside, I'm not listening to any of that. Inside, I'm numb. I'm so, so sad. I'm angry. I'm regretful. And I'm even a little thankful. I'm all of those things and I don't know what to do with any of that. I haven't started grieving yet. I can't. Right now, I have to be strong for my boys and for my grandmother. Right now, I have to make sure everyone else is alright and right now, that little selfish part of me that longs to be 9 again hates that.
I guess that's why I'm typing this now. Maybe I'm just trying to let it out. I don't know if it will help me, but I don't suppose it will hurt me, huh?
My grandfather was a man who was loved by many and he was a man who was not loved by some. Through no fault of my own, he was the only grandfather I ever really knew. So regardless of how anyone else felt about him, I loved him. I know that my kids and I will miss him greatly.