It’s a part of life.
And, it’s scary.
When you lose someone people usher by your side. Many trying to reassure you that it’ll get easier, you’ll move on, and you’ll get over it.
And, they’re not lying to you to be a jerk. They’re just saying something, anything, that they think will comfort you. And maybe in that moment, the idea of the pain subsiding does offer a little hope.
But it’s not the truth.
Especially, when you lose someone you love.
We lose many people in our lives: friends, family, acquaintances. And, in some of these cases, you are able to forget the pain. You are able to pick up your life and one day you wake up and can’t remember the last time you cried, or your heart ached, for that person.
It’s a sad reality, but, in those cases, it does seem like – with time – you can “get over” losing someone.
Then there are times that you lose someone with far more depth, with a much tighter grasp on your soul. Someone that your life is not ready to let go of.
And, it never does.
I lost my Popa, 4 years ago next month.
And I sit here, 4 years later, and cannot even type his name without my entire body going nub, without the tears welling up in my eyes, without me wanting to slam this laptop shut and forget about the pain.
Time does not heal all wounds.
Because, my Popa -like many people in our lives- was not just some person who had an impact on my life. He was not just another family member. He was not someone I could ever just “get over.”
My Popa was many things to me.
He was my Grandfather.
Yet, that’s not even beginning to scratch the surface on all that he was to me. I don’t think I could write a blog long enough to describe the type of man he was or how much I loved him.
He was among the last generation of true, hardworking, honest men. There was always dirt under his nails and callouses on his hands. He was a farmer through and through. His skin was wrinkled and marked by years in the sun. There wasn’t a person he didn’t know, and if he happened to run across one, they weren’t strangers very long. He was friendly, yet stern. Speaking his mind was not an issue he ran into. He walked with his shoulders firm and his head held high. My Popa was the man little boys (and even some men) looked up to & hoped to be.
And, the best part of all, he was mine.
I didn’t just know him because he made it his mission to know everyone. I wasn’t an acquaintance that quickly grew to love him. He wasn’t just some person to me.
He was MY Popa.
He loved me. And I loved him.
I loved him so much; so much so, that I couldn’t see how much he loved me back.
I spent most of our time together just seeking his approval. I wanted to make him love me as much as I loved him. I strived to make him happy, to make him proud; because, I knew there were many parts of my life he was not too thrilled about:
I left my 4 year college to come back home & move in with my boyfriend –and we all know that’s what every parent/grandparent hopes for their child. Good thing we made it last (;
Years later, I got pregnant before we got married-whoops
I attempted to start back my college career and when I was almost done, I got pregnant again – at least we were married this time (;
And the list could just go on-and-on
With all of this, I never thought he was proud of me.
And, I think it was my seeking his approval that kept me motivated to get my degree, to be the best mom I could, and to do everything I’ve done.
He made me the person I am today and I doubt he even knew it.
So how can someone mean that much to us, and we just get over it when they are gone?
When he passed, I kept telling myself that it would hit me one day. That I’d break down. The magnitude of his absence would hit me like a wave and I would be crippled with grief.
But, that day never came.
Now, trust me, I cried. I grieved. I still cry; and, I still grieve. But, it’s nothing compared to what I expected.
And, it’s because him being gone has never felt real.
I think, when you love someone so much, your heart just can’t imagine a world without them in it – so it doesn’t
It keeps telling your brain that they are here. It tries to make you believe that they’re still gone on that long hunting trip, or out in the garden, or working – because there is no way that they are never coming back. We wouldn’t be able to live without them.
So, your heart keeps tricking your brain to not accept their absence.
I know that half of me just expects to be sitting at my Meme’s house, after dark, and hear his boots clunking up the back porch. To see his silhouette, puffy hunting jacket and all, making his way down the porch. Hearing the back door slide open and finally seeing his smile.
I’d give anything for that to happen again. So much so, that I think my heart still holds onto hope that it will.
You don’t ever get over the ones you love.
Your heart still longs for them. You go about your day, secretly searching for signs from them. Oh, how your heart leaps when you smell their old cologne or perfume. The air in your chest is knocked away when you glance at someone from afar who resembles them.
You quietly cry at night, when everyone else is asleep and all that is flooding your mind is the memories that you shared, the things you wish you would’ve said, and the things you wish you would’ve done.
You pray that they can hear you when you talk to them. You pray they know how much you miss them. Because, that’s the only thing that would make all this pain worth while. As long as they could know, just how much they meant to you.
As time goes on, you are able to talk about them without crying. You are able to go on with your life. But you are never able to get over them.
That’s just impossible.
They are apart of you. They are apart of your life. And, no amount of time will never change that.