To My Grandpa

A few weeks ago, I experienced my very first major death. While I have lost people in my life before, this loss was truly different and hit me harder than previous losses. On Monday, April 15th, I lost my Grandpa Ernie. While his health had been depleting for some time, his death came fast and unexpected. The day he passed away was incredibly difficult and strange. My mom updated me on his health earlier in the day and I had been excited to hopefully see him Easter weekend, and then about 20 minutes later, she called me to tell me the horrific news. While I am happy he is in a better place and no longer in pain, I am still heartbroken for the significant loss his death was.

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Part of me feels as though it isn’t real and that when I go home, I can go to northern Wisconsin and visit him. I feel as though a part of me will always feel this way. It’s such a weird feeling to have, as I know that he’s gone, but yet it hasn’t quite set in yet. Grief is such a strange thing. While I haven’t felt sadness since his funeral, as I’ve been trying to distract myself with midterms and school, I have felt just sort of off. And honestly, I feel as though that’s what losing someone is like. It feels just sort of foggy and hazy. While the sadness may go away, there will always be a sense of emptiness, and the feeling that something isn’t quite right. Moments of fondness for the person who has passed and the memories you shared, mixed with sadness and longing for them again, make life after their death a strange, mumble-jumbled life.

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This article is dedicated to my grandpa. It’s dedicated to the memories and love he gave to my family and to me. It’s dedicated to his life, and the 86 years he spent on this Earth. It’s dedicated to his years of service to his country and to his large family. So here is to you, Grandpa Steinke. Thank you for giving me such joy, love, and laughter in my 19 years of life. I will forever be thankful for our last FaceTime on your last weekend, and the sweet words you spoke to me will be in my heart for eternity. I’ll love and miss you forever Grandpa. I hope you’re winning big at the casino in the sky.

Photo Courtesy of Olivia Koehler