On Feb. 2, my grandma Penny passed away. It was not totally unexpected due to her declining mental and physical health, but like with any death, it came as a shock. Writing this triggered so many emotions seeing how important she was to me, but also because I have never had to deal with death before, especially with someone who I was close to.
My dad called my sister and me the next morning, so the rest of my day was filled with confusion, endless tears and grief. Trying to keep my mind away from the subject, I went to the gym. For the time I was there, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I wasn’t constantly going back to the conversation with my dad, or the last visit I had with my grandma.
Grief is something we each will deal with differently. Some deal by crying and keeping to themselves; others will deal with their grief by talking and celebrating, making sure the memory of their loved one stays alive. I was sad and heartbroken for about a week. I called my mom and dad multiple times just to ask questions about her death to try and wrap my head around it. Talking about my grandma comforted me in a way that I can’t explain.
About a month later, at the end of spring break, we held a celebration for my grandma. Instead of mourning her death, we celebrated her life; it’s definitely what she would have wanted. Everyone was there; people my dad, aunt and uncle grew up with, retired firefighters my grandpa had worked with many years ago, all my cousins and even my grandpa. Everyone was laughing, eating, talking about memories and drinking the occasional martini (her favorite drink).
I have learned throughout the years that the best way to deal with grief is to let your emotions out. I used to be one that would hold in my emotions, and the end result, once I would let them all out, would not be good.
While my immediate grieving process may be over, there are still times when I get very sad. My grandma Penny was and still is one of the most important people in my life. It’s still weird for me to think that she is no longer here, but I know that she is at peace.