Last Wednesday my first guest post for the Huffington Post was published. I was feeling pretty euphoric before realizing my grandma wouldn’t be able to see it. What would she think?, I wondered. I know she would be proud, but I wish I could hear her say it. I keep in touch with some of her friends and, after I’d sent the link out to them, one wrote back saying my article was “wonderfully candid.” What a sweet thing to say. I’m pretty sure my grandma would say the same thing, and I can’t help but wonder if she sometimes speaks through her friends somehow.
As I’ve said before, the reminder that I’ve accomplished something so great is also a reminder that I will continue to have new experiences and I won’t be able to show her and hear her reaction. While I’m proud of myself for having achieved this goal, there’s that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that “oh wait, Grandma isn’t here to see this.” It’s a bittersweet taste, and one I hope I can come to learn how to deal with.
Because I’m questioning so much how she would respond, I’m wondering if I ever really knew her at all. There are times when I’m talking to my mom about her and she’ll say something I had no knowledge of. It makes me realize all over again that there is a never-ending list of things I didn’t know about her; it only adds to the questions I wish I’d asked her. If there is any piece of advice I could pass on to whoever reads this, it’s to ask, ask, ask, and learn, learn, learn about your family and friends. We can live 100 years and never know anything about a person who we thought was so close to us. Don’t waste time getting to know those you care about. It’s so so important to have those pieces of insight; they’ll become the intangible memories and threads you cling to when that person is gone.
Boy oh boy, what a whirlwind ride this death thing is taking me for.