The deaths of loved ones

How a young girl deals with her life with constant grief.

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1.

My name is Lauren 

I am 19 years old and all alone. You see  my grandma just died. Death is nothing new to me. It knows me well. 

When I was 1 year old my dad died in a wild fire he was fighting. He was a firefighters and loved his job. When this happened we moved into grandma and grandpas house.   

I was close to my grandparents 

  My mom and grandma worked together in the hair salon my grandma Owned and hoped one day my mom would take over when she retired.I had my first hair cut in that salon done by my mom. My grandpa and uncle don farmed together. My grandpa loved that don decided to continue the line of farmers. His dad farmed on this farm and he did and had always hoped his son would as well. 

I have a memory of grandpa and I on the farm from  when I was 3. I rode my trike down to the shop wear grandpa fixed his cars,truck and tractors. I went and helped him with it. I played with tools and handed grandpa stuff. When we were done we washed our hands in special gritty oil removing hand cleaner then left for lunch. 

 

 When we moved out it was because my mom fell in love with a man named Keith.  I didn't like Keith maybe it was because he didn't like me or because he wanted a child of his own. Mom soon married him when I was 4.  Soon later  my mom became pregnant.  I was so excited to get a baby sister I wanted nothing to do with it if it was a boy my mom was to leave it at the hospital. I got my wish of getting a sister.  Mom later died giving birth to my  sister Shaeryn. Keith took Shae but didn't want me so I moved back In With my grandparents.  I was devastated I didn't get to see my sister whenever I wanted like my mom said I could. I was heart broken  as well the only person who was a Constant in my life was gone. I got to see my sister every other weekend and holidays but it wasn't what my mom would have wanted 

My grandparents Put me in child therapy. They also took me to church often. One day I went to grandma and ask her "why can't i see mommy any more when is she coming back" ? Grandma picked me up to put me on her lap and said "she isn't coming back not like she was before. She is here right now because she is in your heart" she then took my hand and placed it on my heart an said "as long as your heart is beating she is with you, as long as my heart is beating she is with me. " she then grabbed my hair and Twirled it in her fingers grandma loved my curls she loved playing with them, it gave me great comfort when she did that. She then continued her speech " and some day I will be reunited with your mom I will be able to hug her and hold her in my arms."  I then took my hand and put it on her chest and said "oh I feel her in there." I then leaned in close and whispered ever so quietly so grandma couldn't hear me " we miss you mama hope you are having fun in our hearts" 

I didn't realize till now how important this conversation was. 

 Grandma retired a year later sold her shop and took care of me full time I was six when this happened.  

When I was 7 grandpa and i went to Disney land we went for a week and had so much fun I only wish my grandma could have come. She was having problems walking and was afraid she wouldn't be able to do the things with us. 

When I was 8 I had a school Christmas concert that every one was coming to even Keith and Shae, but sadly grandpa got sick and grandma stayed home with him. Uncle Don and his new girlfriend Camron took me.  

We later learned grandpa had stage 2 Colon cancer. He had surgery and had chemo and seemed to be doing better. When I was 9  Carmen and her 3 kids Ashley,Brayden and brayleen moved in with uncle don. I had people to play with on the farm. Ashley was a year older then me Brayden was a year younger and brayleen was 2 years younger then me.  We were instant  friends. I had to teach them the ropes of the farm and how to stay safe around the cows.  As the years went by Shae was aloud to Come over more often. The first winter after my cousins moved  grandma had a family history book meeting  uncle don and camren were at a poker game so grandpa had all five grand kid and we went  tobogganing. Shae and Brayden went down together there sled went off course and Brayden tried to tip the sled  but only managed to fall of with Shae heading right into the side of the barn. I ran to Shae well Ashley ran to grandpas house. 

Shae had a couple scratches on her face. Grandpa came running  out of the house to see is Shae was okay he then looked at her and said "oh it's just a scratch she is just barked up she will be fine in  the morning" Boy was grandpa wrong. The next day her right side of her face was so swollen that she looked Chinese. I Use this as a way of describing how bad it was. Keith took her to the doctor that Monday the doctor said he was sure her cheek was slightly fractured. There was no way to fix it an it was not bad enough to begin with so they left it to heal naturally. Now if you look at her you can't tell unless you know what your looking for. Her right cheek the one  that got hit is slightly low then her left the non broken one. Any way I am getting off track here. When I was 11 grandpa stopped chemo he was not getting better he excepted he was going to die and wanted his time spent with his family instead of the hospital. This year was the best. May 18th was his 80th birthday all his grandkids made a scrap book for him this book helped us when he passed away in October that same year. When he died all the memories and pain from my moms death came back to me. I had to stay strong for Shae tho this was her first huge loss she was only 7 but 2 years older then when mom died. I was strong around her but when she was gone I was a wreck. Grandpa was the best man I ever new until grandma befriend Maggie Nicholson.  Maggie and grandma became close. I soon meet her son Don. Yes it's funny how I have an uncle don and a new  friend named don. Don soon became my new father figure. When I was 13  we had plans to go to the fair together. When we were there we had so much fun and on the drive back to my house we were talking and I said this  " hey don you know how my life hasn't been simple right"?  "Yes I know where are you getting with this"?  He asked "well this may sound weird but I want you to be my dad you have been the only father figure I have ever really had next to grandpa but grandpa was grandpa you know what I mean"? I said nervously " oh Lauren I would love to be your dad"   We hugged an he drove me home. As time went by I grew close to don.  Maggie became my second grandma she loved me as if I was her own so when she died of cancer when I was 16 it broke my heart. Don was heart broken he lost the best person in his life next to his dad john. I also grew fond of him he passed away a year later. 

After  there deaths don and I became inseparable. Don came to work for my uncle don in the next year. 

When I graduated the whole family celebrated don was taking lots of pictures except for one. I had my uncle don on one side of me and my dad don on the other side of me, I was in the middle of a don loving sandwich. 

Little did I know the next night don would die.

He was picking  me up from my boyfriends house when a drunk driver hit us. The driver hit the drivers side of the vehicle and killed him instantly.  I got a concussion broken leg and couple broken ribs. 

At his funeral his family didn't mention me at all they didn't like that I had been his main focus for a long time they also didn't like that he didn't want to be with them as much s before. The only mentioned that I was in the car with him when he passed. This ticked me off so much and broke my heart because I new that he wanted me to be recognized as his daughter and welcomed into his family with open arms. I was with his parents  but not sisters. 

As the year went by  I turned 18 fell in love with Trevor my boyfriend and then we broke up.  I came home late the night of the break up and grandma was so worried. "Lauren wear in gods name have you been I was so worried."? 

" I was with Trevor. I am sorry I didn't call I will do that next time" 

" you know I don't like that boy I don't want  you getting to attached" 

"We'll be. Happy then we BROKE UP!" I said storming to my room and slamming the door.  

 I remember hearing grandma say "so dramatic just like your mother it's like déjà vu" 

I didn't talk to her for a week until one morning 

"Morning big sis" (  a nickname grandma and grandpa gave me when shae was born) "hope you slept well can you sit and we talk I feel it is needed".

 " okay grandma" I get a cup of coffee and sit and prepare my self for a very opinionated conversation with my grandma. 

" let me start of by saying I love you. I want what's best for you so I have this for you". 

She hands me an envelop. I take it and open it. 

"What is this check  for"? I asked shocked 

"It's from a couple people. 3 thousand from your biological father Robert. He left it to you in his will he said it wasn't much but that was all he had. 5 thousand from your mother who had started a education fund that I took over and put the rest in there. But then don left you 2 thousand for you. He truly loved you. All together there is about 20 thousand for you. You can travel the world or go to school save it or spend it but I recommend you'd save some at least." 

 I sat  there in shock holding this money

"I don't know what to say thank you. I can't believe all the people who cared about my future."  

I honestly thought she was going to lecture me about Trevor again. 

Later that month I moved to the city to take hairdressing like my Mom and her mom before her. I went to the same school my mom went to. With the same owner and she got us mixed up all the time. In graduate from hair school in June the next year and went to work in a salon my mom worked at when she first started out. I didn't plan it that way but it was a job and I loved it there.  I meet and fell In love with a guy named Tony. We dated and became close everything seamed great for once But then in November I had to move back home. Grandma was having her hip replaced and needed me at home again. My new job was helping her recover but that didn't happen. She had a great surgery was healing great till she got a cold and a rash on her stomach. She was sent to the hospital in The city for fungal skin condition. They were very un sure of what it was so to see her we had to glove and gown. She had 3 surgeries to remove dead tissue it went from her hip that they replaced to her belly button and as deep at her  urethra. Shae and I sat there with her and talked but she was high as a kite and didn't remember it. When shae first came in the room after grandmas first surgery grandma didn't recognize her. She looked really focused on shae. 

"Grandma that's shae your other granddaughter " I said

"I new that it just she looks like a flower pot" 

You see I had coloured Shae's hair teal and pink. So it was different from the last time she had seen shae. 

"Grandma I am not a flower pot it's just my hair is all colourful". Shae said shyly 

 " I knew that I was just teasing  you" grandma shouted. 

"She is a bit  high eh"? Shae asked me 

I shook my head yes. "Earlier she was drinking apple juice and she spilt som on her chest and shouted ouch my apple juice hurts".  I replied 

"I did no such thing" grandma protested. 

"Okay grandma. Shae has seen you how about you go back to sleep" before I could finish my sentence grandma had passed out so we tip toed out of her room. 

 

"Were is your dad"? 

" he is away for the week".

" can I stay with you till this is settled I don't have money to spend on a hotel and uncle don and Cameron won't help with that".

"Yes but once dad is back he may want you gone. I want you with me I don't like when he goes on long Business trips".

"How did you get here"? 

"Grandma Beth" 

"I loved her when mom was alive she loved me like I was her own grandchild.

"Ya I wish dad was more alike his mom". 

"No time to  dwell on the past Let's go home kid."  I said and we went to her house. 

After months of grandma being in the hospital her Health declined.

Her kidneys quite her flesh virus can back and on top of that she had phnemonia. 

On February 11th grandma was put on life support. She was dying and I couldn't do anything to make it better no matter how hard I tried. The family came  on the 12th we said are goodbyes. The doctors took her off life support and we sate and talked and reminisced about the past. Then at 2:30 am February 13 every one left to get rest but I stayed there with her.  

"Grandma I know your tired and so am I." Then it hit me she needs the lights out o sleep. Sense she came in the hospital b she did was complain about the lights being on when she wanted to sleep. So I got up and turned the light off put my hand on my grandma's and sat there. 

At about 3:30 I here's her take her last breath. I hugged her and said "grandma I love you to the moon and back don't ever forget that."  

After I calmed down I went and got shae from the waiting room were she was sleeping. She came and said goodbye. The  rest of the family came and said good bye and now it's just me here with my grandma 

I don't want to leave her but I need sleep it's 4:30 am.  

I get up kiss grandma on the forehead skweeze her hand and said my final good 

"Grandma god knows how much I love you and he also knows how pissed I am at him for doing this to you and taking you away from me but you are at peace and with grandpa. Until we meet again I love you and I will miss you".

I give her one last hug and kiss and leave. 

I went to sleep in the extra bedroom at my sisters dads house after a much needed shower. Keith has been great at helping me with this he has let me stay her for 2 months and I am truly grateful for it. 

I try to sleep but can't I end up crying myself to sleep around 5:30 am

I hear a creak at the door and it's Keith he was sneaking out of my room. 

And then I thought about what I was doing her it was like I forgot the past 2 months and it all came back and I started crying again. 

 That pain cam flashing back. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't and 

So I looked at the time and it was 10:00 am

"God on 3 hours of sleep".

I turned on the light and saw a envelope I picked it up and open it.

 Dear Lauren 

 

I am so sorry for the loss of your grandma she was an amazing women.  These past months with you here has made me realize I am a complete and otter asshole. When your mother died and I was left with you and your sister I should have tried to raise you along with shae. I am sorry I never tried I am sorry I abandoned you on top of you losing your mother. Your grandma didn't deserve to have to raid you when  I was capable. You grandparents gladly took you because they loved you but I could see there disappointment in me. When you were 7 was when I realized I made a mistake but by that time your life was normal. your support system was your grandparents. I don't know if you remember this but when you were 8 you stayed a week at my place when your grandpa had chemo and your uncle don had harvest. Well when I found shae had snuck into this guest room to sleep with you was when I knew I needed to let you see her more. That's why your sister and I would come stay a weekend her or she would stay for a week or 2 out of no wear because she needed you and I new you needed her. I guess what I am trying to say I am sorry for being selfish and not thinking about you and how that decision would affect you. These past months of you staying her showed me how much you remind me of your mother, you are also a spitting image of her you walk just like her your smile is the same and your eyes light up the same way hers did. She would also be very disappointed in my decision to give you to your grandparents I hope you and her forgive me for what I did so many years ago. 

Yours truly 

Keith 

I start balling my eyes out. My grandma is gone and I get an apology from Keith. Why would he apologize now and make me even more confused. I have so many questions for him and now my grandma. Some that I will ask and some I just can't. I am just so lost that I simply tuck the letter away and get up and go down stairs and start packing my stuff to get ready to go home. 

Home will that be the same with out grandma there ? Will it be hard to sleep there with out her ? Will I break down and cry every time I enter a room? Home isn't going to be the same anymore. 

I start to cry again after a couple minutes later I get a text from my aunt Carly

Aunt : hey trooper do you and shaw want to go for breast in about an hour my treat

Me:  Perkins ? Been dying for there food for a long time

Aunt: what ever you want sweat heart

Me: see you then. 

I go wake shae.

"Shae it 10:30 do you want to go for breaky with auntie Carly and uncle jimmy?"

"You said it just like grandma did you do that on purpose ?"

"Breakfast"? I say confused 

"No you said breaky thats what grandma called breakfast"

"Oh I did didn't I I guess I am just so used to hearing it that I said it"

"Ok I am starving I will get dressed and ready"

"Be ready in 45 minutes" I say as I go back 

To the gust room 

We get there have a good time then head back to Keith's house. Shae packed called her dad at work told him she was coming back with me for a week until the funeral and such was all planed and over with and would be back. We drove for 2 hours to the town that had the funeral home we planed the funeral and grandma's viewing. 

Then I drove to her house with shae. I opened the door with my keys and prepared my self to cry.

I look around it seams like she never left. Her smokes on the table and crochet hook and yarn by her chair in the living room with that unfinished blanket for my 2ends cousins baby that was born 3 months ago.

Her room smells like her favourite perfume the bed made with the blanket and sheets grandma and grandpa bought years ago.

It all seamed like my home but it was different and a bit broken. I searched for the night gown I got her when I was 9 the one she only wore when I was sad. "Shae can I go to sleep? Do you want to nap in grandmas bed ? If not you can sleep in my room".

"No I am good I need some time then I will go to bed in your room."

"I love you"

"Love your too"

I get in the night gown and go to sleep.

It's the day of grandmas Viewing. I have been gathering stuff to show off around her caskete. I choose a picture frame that says grandkids and has a picture of us in each letter. I choose a poem about moms that my mom had given grandma. I gather her hair suplize and a few other things.

I get ready and drive to the funeral home.

Uncle don and I set stuff up and they wheel in grandma. My heart sinks I know she is in there I know this will be the last time I see her. I worry she might not look like the grandma I know. They go to open up the casket and I walk away. I can't look at her well don is in here. I will wait to be alone.

Don and the rest of my family

And I walk in to see my grandma.

She is holding a rose in her hands. Her hair is styled how she always had it. Her lipstick on perfect. All I could smell was her perfume the smell brings back so many memories.

I then tough her hand and immediately regret it. Her hand was so cold it sent shivers down my back. Her hands were always warm. I know she isn't there but my heats didn't understand that.

Soon friends and family came to say a good bye.

I go in before shae and I leave and give her a final kiss goodbye and leave.

The next day was her funeral

Grandmas best friend said her ulagie

And it was beautiful. We then barrier her next to grandpa in the grave yard a couple miles from the farm.

I break down as they say a prayer and I run to my auntie Starla who was my moms best friend. Starla stayed close to my grandparent sand uncle don through the years. She may live in the city but she always cheated up on me.

"I know this is hard Lauren. I am here for you. Your grandma was a wonderful lady. Who will be missed."

"Thanks I love you"

I walk back and my cousin grabs me and gives me and starts crying in my arms. I know this is hard for all of us so I hug her and we cry in each other's arms.

This has been the hardest day of my life. Most would say the day there mom died would be but I don't remember it that much and grandma raised me so it's just a little different.

Its July 8th 2017 and Its grandmas birthday, It's also the grand opening of Sharon's beauty shop 2.0. With the money grandma left me I opened up her old salon. I even bought the Building back. It a small place but it is mine and I have so many memories here and I will make new ones as well. I have remodels the salon in purple s and teal blues as those were her favourite colours. Everything. About this place is amazing. I am booked soled for the next 2 weeks and can't wait to get to work. I and still with tony and believe I will marry him one day. He moved out here and works with don on the farm till he can find a job he wants to do here but he seams to be liking being a farmer.

I am excited about my future I know grandma is watching me and will always be here with me.

This story isn't all true and some events are made up, But my grandma was the best person I have ever known next to my mom. My grandma was always there for me she was always a phone call away. Know that's she is gone I can't call her to ask her how to deal with this grief that hasn't gone away in the year that she died. I know she will always love me and will always be alive in my heart.

Grandma Sharon 1942-2016

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