Never Goodbye, Just a See You Later – Part 2

Written by on February 24th, 2015 –

Please note: This post is part 2, to read part 1 please click here


I had been through the death of a loved one before. It was certainly not my first grandparent related death; it was just different. I felt the pain more acutely than before and there was a gaping void left in my heart. That sounds so cliché but there must be a reason there is such a cliché, right? I was so very numb and broken during that first day without him. I still had my MS infusion scheduled and I knew I couldn’t put that off because my grandfather wouldn’t have wanted it. So we drove the two hours to the private clinic. I sat the required two hours for treatment with sunglasses on so the tears I shed were private and I had some protection from the reality that I was facing. A reality that meant one of my closest allies in this world was no long here. The truth of that day was far too much for me to bear. After completing treatment and returning to my home, my body decided things were too much for it and it shut down. I lost consciousness, my breathing slowed to an almost imperceptible level, and my heart rate dropped. I still feel bad about my parents having to deal with that on top of everything else.

I was rushed by ambulance to the very same hospital where my grandfather had left us earlier that morning. I had regained consciousness prior to being transported to the hospital but there were tests that needed to be done. I had to be checked out and cleared,  I spent the next several hours getting blood tests, heart tests, and every test imaginable it seemed. The doctor was puzzled but felt that despite the earlier event I was fine. I was discharged with the diagnosis of it having been a stressful day and my body ‘rebooted’ itself. I went home, crawled into bed, and tried to fall asleep, I needed a reprieve from the numbing grief I was feeling. I don’t remember how long it took me to fall asleep that night. It seemed like forever and my reprieve would be all to brief that night.

The days and weeks that followed my grandfather’s death left little time to sulk around and wallow in the emptiness I definitely felt. There always seems to be a little chaos after the loss of a loved one and this was definitely no different.  The family estate had to be cleaned up and organized because it had to be placed on the market. His possessions had to be dealt with.  His Celebration of Life had to be put together. It sounds so very clinical as I am writing this, but trust me, the tasks were anything but clinical. My primary job was to help clean the inside of the house. I also needed to sort through a lifetime of pictures and find the ones that would best represent him. I think I picked 30 or so pictures and put them together for a video montage to be shown at the Celebration. I found comfort in that task. I could still grasp his essence in my hands and he was still very much front and center in my day and mind. His Celebration was beautiful. My dad read a heartfelt eulogy and letter I had written him. His friends, who watched me grow up, came up and hugged me, and told me my grandfather was a dearly loved man who had loved me so very much. It brought a smile to my face for sure. It made the difficult day a little easier to get through.

It will be four years since his passing this coming August. They say the loss gets easier over time. They say it won’t hurt so much sometime in the future. I sure hope that is true. The void he left in my heart when he passed is still there, it still aches, and it is still so very acute. Even as I write this, tears are falling because I miss him so much. I really look upon my time with my grandfather as a blessing because it certainly was.  I was absolutely blessed to be loved so fiercely by my grandfather. In all honesty, he was like a third parent to me. So I feel as though I have lost a parent. A person who helped raise me in a way, a person who supported me in everything I did and battles I fought. It’s been a struggle without him. Without that shoulder to lean on, the unbiased sounding board he provided, and that irreplaceable laugh when we joked my world is an emptier place.  I have to believe that I will eventually see him again someday. I cling to the hope that my last “See you later” was true and temporary, because a complete goodbye would simply break my heart, even more than his loss already has.

When we were cleaning his house, I found papers showing he was fundraising for the MS Society, something he never told me about. My dad also found a mug with the word hope on it. Little things I know, but they mean the world to me.  I take them as little signs that my Grandpa wants me to keep fighting. He wants me to help end this awful disease and he will be at my side when I do. I will continue to fight for a whole community of people who need this disease eradicated and because I owe him that much for his lifetime of support. So for now my friends, I will see you later!

~ Loribelle

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