A Journal to My Dearly Departed

Dear Grandma J,

How did you do it? You were always the first one to help and you never expected anything in return. In spite of all your hardships and losses you endured, you were always joking and smiling through life. No matter what life threw at you, you had gumption and humor.

You lost so many of your family at such a young age. Eventually all you had left were your children and grand-children. How did you do it? I am surrounded by family and friends and yet the claws of postpartum depression are always waiting to grasp me when I am weak – on those bad days when I just want to be able to lay down and do nothing, see nothing, and be nothing. But I can’t. I can’t do that. My children need me.

How did you do it? You had a silly, scrawny, brat of a granddaughter who used window cleaner in a squirt bottle to water your lovely flowers. At least we were eventually able to look back on it and laugh! Daddy still makes fun of me for it to this day.

I still remember the day Daddy called me about my little cousin. It broke your heart and I saw you cry for the first time. It hurt to see you cry. I hated it. At least you are both now together again.

Even though I wish we could have had more time I am so happy you were able to meet my oldest son. That very last visit was a short one. I wish we could have spent more time with you. I could tell you weren’t doing well and that you were in a lot of pain. I wanted to do more for you, but being my strong-willed, independent grandmother, you insisted you could do it all yourself. You were always doing for others, but would never let others do for you.

When we left your house that day I had this sinking feeling – a heavy heart. I don’t know if anyone else will understand this, but I knew it would be the last visit with you. I wanted to turn around and stay a little longer.

Dear Grandma J, how did you do it? You went into that surgery knowing you may not ever wake up again. You bravely faced the unknown. How did you do it?

Dear Grandma J, I am fighting this battle, but I am not alone. I have the love and support of my friends and my family, and with you as my Guardian Angel, I know I can do it too.

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