Grief after Losing My Grandmother

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I know it sounds corny but sometimes we forget that they’re also growing old and by the time we realise it, it’s too late. "

Words by Selena Arroyo

The last week of my internship was supposed to be the happiest. Unfortunately, it happened to be the week my mom said she was going to Tijuana for two weeks because my grandma was sick. This has happened before, and everything was done so casually I wasn’t worried, my grandma is always fine. The year before I was told she might have signs of kidney failure, but the doctor’s said it was a false alarm, so I left it.

Then I felt my heart hurting for the whole week before her death, it was like a part of me was mourning her before she even passed. I was an anxious mess. I found out she had cysts on her kidneys, her heart was enlarged, and her organs were failing. I knew she was passing, but then she did demo-dialysis and she was in good spirits. I sent her a video message telling her to get better because I’m going to see her soon, but she died the following week.

I refuse to talk about it because then it makes it real. I didn’t tell my closest friend until about a month after and when my mum tries to speak about it I change the subject. It has been two months and I still get sad and I’m still extremely anxious, whether for an hour or a couple days. I feel like my heart will hurt forever, you see, my grandma, besides my mum, was the best part of my childhood. Going to Tijuana was my favourite thing but now it’s just another sad memory. The thought of going to Tijuana knowing I’ll be going to her burial site instead of her house makes my heart ache.

If for some reason my grandma is in heaven reading this: I’m so sorry I couldn’t say goodbye, I’m sorry I couldn’t be by you and I’m sorry for not even attempting to reach out all these years, I just assumed you’d always be there. I love you so much. My eyes are hazel and they change colour when I get sad, and since the day you died my eyes have never been greener. I’ve sang tu eres la tristeza de mis ojos for the past two months, I hope my roommate isn’t sick of it.

The thought of going to Tijuana knowing I’ll be going to her burial site instead of her house makes my heart ache.

This was supposed to be the “best summer ever”, I finished the classes portion of my MBA, I was supposed to do some weekend travel, get an internship and just live, but some days, sometimes even weeks I just can’t leave my room. My heart is heavy.

My way of dealing with things is a bit different from others. I’ve had trouble speaking about my issues since I was a young girl and I still do. I’ve recently picked up going on runs and it has definitely helped, so if you’re mourning the loss of someone do little things to attempt to pick yourself up because unfortunately life goes on without the one we love.

Do me a favour and please reach out to your grandparents, keep in touch with your family, etc. You never know when you’re going to lose them; I know it sounds corny but sometimes we forget that they’re also growing old and by the time we realise it, it’s too late.