The Pain of Losing a Loved One: Part Four
If you haven’t read parts one through three, go to the articles below to get caught up with what happened in my childhood before reading this one. Just be sure to come back to this one when you are done, please.
The Pain of Losing A Loved One: Part Three
My brother wasn’t the only one who was murdered in my family
After losing my big brother, my aunt, and cousin to the tragedies that happened, I thought the worst was finally over and didn’t think I would have to experience this much pain for a while. I was wrong. One month after my aunt and cousin were killed, 10 months after my brother was killed, my grandfather, who I was very close to, ended up dying from the black lung disease he had for many years while I was a kid. He smoked a lot of cigars when I was a kid. I remember every time I was there, he had either one of those big cigars hanging out of his mouth or one of those smaller ones. My grandma hated them but grandpa did what he wanted.
They were both sick. Grandma had a bad heart and grandpa had this lung disease. They got sicker when my brother, aunt, and cousin died. After all, they were in pain from losing two of their grandchildren and their youngest daughter. I think they started giving up back then because it seemed like they weren’t fighting hard anymore. It also seemed there were fewer family reunions since the first three were killed because no one cared anymore. We were all giving up at the time.
Exactly one week after his birthday, grandpa ended up in the hospital for breathing problems. He ended up dying there. We were devastated one more time because we were dealing with yet another loss and having to attend yet another funeral. It was so hard going to the funeral home so often to say our final goodbyes to those we loved, as I am sure many of you have been through yourself more than once in your lifetime. But, going four times within two years, gets very old and emotionally draining. I say four times because we had a double funeral for my aunt and cousin. I also say four times because five months after grandpa died, one week after his birthday in November of 1993, grandma, who was living with my parents, cousin, and I at the time, went into the hospital because of her heart and she ended up dying too. She died in April of 1994.
Have you ever heard of someone dying from a broken heart? My grandmother already had a bad heart, having been through multiple heart attacks, and many heart surgeries. However, dying from a massive heart attack only five months after your beloved husband dies, makes you think she died from a broken heart. Grandma and grandpa were around each other all the time. My husband and I are like this and I think we are a lot like my grandparents were. They were married for a long time. I can’t remember how long to be exact but they were together for a really long time, had eight kids, and a whole lot of grandchildren through the years of their life together.
I remember coming home from school one day, my cousin was already home for some reason, I can’t remember why because we rode the same school bus. Unless he stayed home sick that day. I was in the seventh grade, 13-years-old. Three months away from turning 14. I got off the bus and walked up to my porch getting ready to walk into the house when he came outside and asked me to sit down. I asked him why but I already had a bad feeling something bad, again, had happened because of the way he said it. So, I sat down on the steps and looked at him while tears were already forming in my eyes, just knowing someone close to me had died yet again.
That’s when he dropped it on me. Grandma had died in the hospital from a massive heart attack. I just sat there crying my eyes out. I was really close to my grandmother. Closer to her, my mom’s mom, than I have ever been to my other grandmother, my dad’s mom. I haven’t seen my other grandmother for a long time. She is the only one left and is in her late 80s now. I don’t even think she would remember who I was because she has Alzheimer’s Disease now. I would go see her if I knew she would know who I was but her and I were never close like that because I didn’t grow up around her as I did with my late grandmother.
I remember every time when I was little, and I would get a new outfit to wear to school or just because I would go to grandma’s house, my mom’s mom, and have her take my picture with one of her beloved plants on my lap wearing my new clothes. Either that or I would hold one of her cats or dogs on my lap wearing my new clothes just so I could get her to take my picture.
I would often spend the night with grandma and grandpa and play board games with grandma. Even after we moved off the property and moved into town, I would come with my mom to visit and would decide to spend the night with grandma and grandpa. I loved them so much and miss them every day of my life. Just as much as I miss my big brother, aunt, and cousin. I often wonder what life would be like if they hadn’t died when I was really young.
Would they like my husband? I know my brother would because they were friends when they were kids. They went to school together, my husband was a year ahead of him though. Would they be upset with me for the bad choices I made growing up? Of course, they would. Would they be proud of me for being a writer? I know my grandparents would be and so would my brother because he used to write poetry. He wrote a lot of it when he was drunk and high though and he also drew and painted pictures. My mom still has a lot of his drawings and paintings in a box in her house.
This is the last part of the four parts about the pain of losing those you love. Thank you for reading.