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Growing up, I was fortunate enough to live in the same town as my maternal grandparents. When I was a kid, my grandma would often come by to watch me and my brother while our parents were at work, always with Kit-Kats and a huge smile. When I was at home sick, we would watch The Price is Right and Jeopardy! together. When I would sleep over at her house, we would eat ice cream and cereal for breakfast in the morning.

As I got older and we grew closer, we started spending more and more time together. We would go out to eat together (Fortune Buffet was our favorite) and spend long hours talking on the phone. I would tell her everything from how my classes were going to what my cat was up to. She had been there for every major milestone of my life. It was hard to imagine that I would someday live in a world without her.

So when my mom had called Saturday night and told me that Grammy had died, I sat in stunned shock. It wasn’t like the news was entirely unexpected, but I had just seen her on Monday. Granted, she had been discharged from the hospital after a bout of pneumonia and subsequently sent home to hospice after a short stay in a nursing home, but I had mentally prepared myself for weeks (maybe even months) of watching her slowly deteriorate.

The funeral was a gray Wednesday morning. It was not the first funeral I had been to and it certainly would not be the last, but this was the first time I had attended a service for someone so close to me. As I sat in the church pew with my brother and sister and all four cousins, the reality of the situation hit hard. I cried so much that my smeared mascara started to sting my eyes.

It’s been nearly a week since and it hasn’t gotten any easier.

In this world, nothing is certain except for death and taxes.”

Michaela Shaw is a psychology and sociology double major with a minor in child and adult advocacy studies. Currently, she is the vice president and senior editor of the Her Campus chapter at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Michaela is also a member of Active Minds, Alpha Kappa Delta, the National Society for Leadership and Success, and Psi Chi. A strong advocate for mental health, she intends on pursuing a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling. She likes video games, reading, rainy days, vinyl records, sushi and spending time with her cat, Ron. 
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