Become Your Own Bliss

On Love and Loss

Earlier this month, I relived a painful part of my adolescence. Grampa, the maternal grandfather of my best friend, Megan, who is also the paternal grandfather of my boyfriend Keith, passed away.

The last time I saw Grampa was last November when Keith and I visited his family for Thanksgiving. It felt good to be back in the Mitten, as I had visited with Megan who is my Sandbox Lover, when we were teenagers over a decade ago. I got to know and love her family. Her grandparents became the closest people I had to my own grandparents, who were thousands of miles away in the Philippines.

When my grandparents grew old, sickly, and finally passed, I wasn't able to go to them. I never got to say goodbye properly, so the closure I experienced from around the globe has felt incomplete.

I have since felt a deep, hollow sense of longing for one last hug and kiss, and I believe that sense of loss is something I must live with until I meet my loved ones again. The important thing about love that I have learned since the loss of my grandparents is that love does not go away. It simply takes on another form. I'm beyond thankful for all of the times my beloved grandmother, Mama, softly reminded me,

"When I am no longer here, know that I will be with you. Physical distance won't be a barrier for us anymore. I will be close to you until we meet again."  

I often feel my Mama. Often when I pray and meditate, I see her in my mind's eye. I remember so vividly how she so intensely prayed that she swayed as she spoke to God. I feel her in my stillness. I hear her whisper to me the right thing to do and as I carry out my purpose in this world as a writer, I know that her spirit is with me. 

My heart is full as it aches for Grampa's family. He was a beloved and respected by so many in his tiny Michigan hometown. Judging by the condolences the residents of Cheboygan left the remaining members of his family, Grampa was a force within his community. His passing has reinforced the stark reality that all of us will leave this plane of existence. Our bodies will fail and our souls will move on as our legacy lives through our loved ones. 

I am honored to have been loved by the grandfather whose family so generously shared with me. It was his elation at the prospect of my union with his grandson that made me believe that it was a good idea. After Keith and I began spending time together, Grampa followed us around his daughter's kitchen with a disposable camera, chuckling in his deep, gravelly chuckle, asking to take our photo. 

It meant so much to me that he loved seeing me with his beloved grandson. 

Saying goodbye to Grampa was the closest thing I felt to closure with my own grandparents. A person is never the same after a loss of that degree, but it is in their legacy, in what I was taught by them, where they live on. 

Every time I write,
Every time I practice kindness,
Every time I look into the eyes of my beloved, 

They live on. And I am so humbly grateful to have known and loved them. 


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