lise after death
As we move further into 2013 I still cannot help but think back on 2012. Certain years probably spark different emotions in people. For me, 2012 revolved around overcoming the grief that 2011 brought. I’ve heard people describe dealing with grief as a “journey” and the last two years have felt just like that.
In January 2011, my grandfather passed away. He was my closest friend and even though I had experienced loss before, this one was the most difficult. He was my best friend as well as a grandparent. His personality rubbed off onto me and I began to see myself as almost an extension of him. I valued his company so much when I was away at college I would call him just about every other day. After his passing, the rest of 2011 was spent dealing with the first holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries that were spent without him. I had a hollow feeling in my stomach for most of that year and I recall Christmas and New Year’s to be particularly tough.
2012 brought some changes and I slowly began to gain some more strength. I became more involved in my graduate school program and began to build toward a career. In February, some inspiration hit and I started writing. I was able to get an article published in a local paper and I continue to try my hand at it. I also joined a support that meets once a week. Working on these goals and activities helped to ease some of the hurt feelings. In that time, I went from experiencing despair to a much less dejected mood. However, there was still a slight sinking feeling in my gut that I carried around with me. Not that I wanted to – it was just there.
Fortunately, something I did at the end of 2012 broke me from that feeling. This past November, I decided to take a solo out of town trip for the first time since my grandfather’s death. I was going to visit my friend in Boston the weekend before Thanksgiving. That was the kind of thing my grandfather would like to talk about when I returned. There would be no such opportunity this time, which had me wondering. How will I feel? Will I be able to enjoy myself? Will there be an empty feeling when I come back? I needed some good luck, so I decided to pack my grandfather’s hat in my travel bag right before I left. I had rarely worn his hat and this was really a last minute idea.