For the past week I have traveled back and forth from South Carolina to Maryland twice. 3 flights, 8+ hours of driving, I’m emotionally and physically exhausted from the shock of losing my grandfather and the many restless nights. Not sleeping at home, I get antsy, I get agitated easily, it’s just exhausting. I have had long days that felt like they would never end. Traveling isn’t always glamorous. Packing a bag in a rush to attend a funeral is not the way I imagined packing for a trip.
“Saying goodbye is part of our every day. It’s when that goodbye feels final though, it is then that we start to think about the moments.”
When my Aunt told me it was time to come to Maryland I knew I had to get there and fast. I admit I didn’t want to go. But some gut feeling encouraged me to go visit my grandfather last Sunday. Flying alone to an airport I have never been to and walking into that hospital room was probably the most anxious I have been in a long time. I am so thankful I went. I left Maryland on Tuesday morning to come back home and got the call Wednesday morning he had passed. I wasn’t even home 24 hours before it happened. What if I would have waited? I would have never forgiven myself.
I understand this is the way life works, where the old die, leaving their family behind, but it still hurts. It was a week with ups and down. A week with life and death. A week of…changes. The only constant in life is change. And change is all you need to wake up and realize what’s happening all around you. But all in all, I am so grateful. Grateful for all the memories, the pictures, the inside jokes, the bond we had. The moment we had two days before he passed. There is so much beauty in the world even in the middle of grief. All you have to do is leave your comfort zone to see it.
My advice to you, always make the trip, you never know when it will be your last goodbye. The finality associated with saying goodbye is challenging. Yet it’s an empowering word, enabling us to achieve closure and ultimately move on with our lives. I got closure with my Grandfather. I was able to say goodbye and in so doing, I was given the gift of living again. It is tough losing someone who has been apart of your entire life. It is even tougher when you aren’t around to say goodbye.
The future isn’t guaranteed.
Make the trip. Book the flight. Buy the ticket. Pack the bag. Stop waiting.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”- Winnie The Pooh