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Two Parts of Grief: The Loss and The Living After

On July 31st, 2021, I lost my Pop Pop suddenly, and the world as I knew it changed forever.

This was somebody I held close to my heart and saw daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I had so many emotions that day, that week, that month and up until this very moment. Grief changed me. It made my heart a little heavier, but I feel it has opened my eyes to the world and things I didn’t think about before.

Some days I’m sad, and other days I’m angry. I’m angry Pop Pop left us, left me. Left mom. He was supposed to watch me graduate college. He was supposed to push me in my journalism career. He was supposed to sit and watch me on TV and brag to his friends that his granddaughter was on the news. He was supposed to meet my future husband and be at our wedding and waddle down the aisle. He was supposed to dance with me at that wedding. He was supposed to hold my future baby in his fragile arms. This was supposed to happen. This was the plan. We talked about this. I talked to him about this the day before everything happened. I don’t understand why this plan didn’t happen.

“{The soul} may choose to die slowly, so that loved ones can let go of them, giving them the permission to die. The soul can move on knowing that their loved ones have accepted their fate.” I read this a few weeks after my grandfather passed when I researched premonitions and if people get them before they pass. Pop Pop told me he was “on his way out” and going to Heaven two days before he passed. This quote stuck with me because that’s what I feel Pop Pop did. He left us with so many great memories and so many things to remember him by. His soul let us hold onto so many videos, pictures and recordings. I whispered a prayer in his ear the night before he died, asking for him to let Jesus into his heart so he can go to Heaven. I’m not very religious, but somebody told me to do it, and I was hoping for a miracle. Even though I wanted and prayed so hard he’d pull through, I knew the truth. I told him, “See you later, best friend” and kissed his head before I left. But it’s the truth. I see him everywhere: in the breeze, in the clouds, in my music, etc. I ask him for signs, and he sends them.

I think his soul needed us there to see him and to say goodbye. I think that was the goal. He knew we needed to let him go and accept his fate, and we did. It brought me great comfort reading this because I think it’s the truth. His soul needed us as much as we needed him.

I think that’s why I see him so often and he gives me so many signs – because he knows I need him. I always loved that about him. He was a man of his word. This is part of living after, though. Picking up the pieces of your broken heart and reminiscing in memories. Waking up and forgetting for a split second that they’re gone. Looking for them in a crowded room. Doing something that makes you think of them. Picking up the phone and going to dial their number. It’s part of healing. I never expected to live a day without my buddy, but it’s all about taking it a day at a time. Best of all, I know I have a guardian angel on my side at all times now.

Maria Hofmann

Montclair '22

Just a Journalism major with a passion to write. She loves listening to music and attending concerts as often as she can. She loves to drink coffee on the regular as she spends some quality time gossiping with her best friends, one being her mom! She's super outgoing and loves to meet new people so she can share stories about her life with others.
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