Ten And Still Lost

Dear Pawpaw,

I cannot believe we’re coming up on 10 years since your departure.  This year in particular, the pain from that loss is amplified as if it were mere minutes rather than a decade.

Perhaps it’s because everything that has gone on my life and our family’s life in the past year.

There have been changes.  Sad changes.  I’m thousands of miles away from everyone and I still feel it.

Do you know we’re falling apart without you?

Just tonight, after talking on the phone with Kim, I fought back tears all night and finally cried on the couch, missing you, desperately wanting you to come back and fix us.  You wouldn’t recognize who we’ve become.  We’re all adrift in our grief and we have no idea how to make it back to shore-unified as a family.

I hate that when I look around and see a family, I feel oddly detached.  I find that I can’t relate anymore.  I’ve attempted to make a family with my husband and my in-laws.  Thank God for that.

My friend Dusty lost his beloved grandmother just under a year ago.  He had the type of closeness with her that I had with you.  He misses Elaine horribly and when he asks if it ever gets better, I have to tell him….that the days will be easier to get through but the pain of his loss will always be with him.  He will always want to pick up the phone to call her and share things with her and his heart will always ache because he will never be able to do that again.  I want so much to say “yes…you’ll eventually feel better about it..” but I can’t.  And my heart breaks for him.  I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.

I’m amazed at how raw it all feels.  How a family crisis can make all those feelings flood out of my heart.  I am angry that you’re not here.  I’m not angry at you, I know that given a choice, you would have never left us, but I’m mad that God, somehow needed you more than we did.

I see old couples and I feel bitter.  I wanted that for you and memaw.  Memaw visits your grave every single day, even ten years later.  My heart breaks because she feels the loss more than anyone.  I hate seeing her so sad.  I hate seeing her struggle now that you’re not here to protect her.  I know you would be furious at what she’s being forced to go through.

I also know that certain family members wouldn’t DARE the stunts they’ve pulled if you were here. 

I am sad and disheartened because what you intended for her isn’t coming to pass.

And it’s all because you’re no longer here.

 

Grief has turned some of our family into people we don’t recognize anymore.

I am angry.  I am sad.  I am bitter.  I’m ashamed to admit this because I know it disappoints you.  You would say that I “am better than that.”  In fact, you’d say it about all of us.

And so, I must find a way to put all of that anger, sadness, and bitterness to good use.  Turn it into a passionate cause.  Fight the good fight.

And that’s exactly what I intend to do.

I love you.  I miss you.  I wish you were here.

Love,

Chrissy

 

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