That heart-wrenching moment when I received that phone call—the one that completely shattered life as I knew it. “He’s gone,” two words that brought me to my knees, screaming and crying. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t put into words what I was thinking or feeling, I was broken. Time slowed to a snail’s pace, it seemed like it took hours to arrive, and when we did, reality still didn’t sink in. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be, we were supposed to have more time, way more time with him.
I’m too young to lose my dad, my kids need their Grandpa Texas. I went through the following days and weeks in this state of fog and disbelief. I was busy preparing for the final “goodbye” as they call it a “Celebration of Life,” which, if you ask me, is an atrocious name for such an event.
Starting your new year off in this heartbreaking way really sets the tone for the rest of the months. All the firsts we went through without him brought me right back to my knees, tears streaming down my face, completely unstoppable. Somehow, I’d manage to plaster a smile on my face and remind my kids that it was Grandpa’s birthday. My kids were so young, seven and three. Will they remember him?
My son really doesn’t remember Grandpa Texas, only what we’ve told him and shown him in pictures. It breaks my heart in so many ways knowing he won’t know this great man who loved him dearly and spoiled him rotten. My daughter turned eight four days after losing my dad. Celebrating her birthday during the worst days of my life was seriously challenging. Thankfully she adapts well and understood when I couldn’t cook her favorite meal, instead, we got our favorite tacos, so to her, it was a win.
We are on year two now without him—it seems like a lifetime and like it happened yesterday at the same time. Do you cry less? Yes. Does it hurt less? No. This is a void that will never be filled, never be fixed, and never go away. You learn to live with this pain in your heart. I still am unable to look at his pictures closely or talk about him out loud very much without my eyes filling up and my heart breaking all over again.
To those who are at the beginning of this awful road of grief, I’m praying for you. You may have friends, family, and loved ones close to you, but you’ll never feel more alone. One thing I have managed to find comfort in is knowing my God hasn’t left my side. I may have fallen off the wagon, and felt like I was abandoned by Him, but I know that’s not true. I know he is the Sovereign One, who never leaves us nor forsakes us. Don’t forget you are a child of God. He is there waiting on us to come to Him.
Grief tears you apart and strips you of normalcy. Now you live in this before and after perspective. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, talk to someone you trust, find a quiet place to pray, read your bible, and just be still.