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A Letter to a Hero August 30, 2012

Posted by jeneypeney in all growed up, letters, life, schmoop, sentimental stuff, the famn damily.
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Dear Grandpa,

It is almost unfathomable to believe it has been a year since you passed away. I don’t think I will ever forget how hard my stomach fell and how hard my heart stopped when I heard my phone ring at 5am on this day last year… I couldn’t even make myself get out of bed to answer it.

I knew deep in my heart who it was and the reason she was calling.

I have been struggling with writing this letter for some time now. Every time I would start typing, words would just cluster together in a series of random thoughts and severe blubbering; they were really more like a manic stream of thought than any kind of organized thought.

Although you have been gone from this earth for an entire year now, it took me up until about 3 weeks ago to really realize it. Funny how that happens, right? It hadn’t completely registered that you were gone and never coming back until over 300 days later. I spent over 7,200 hours in denial, Grandpa. Pretty pathetic for your smart little Jeney Penny, huh?

I cried over your body (and cursed the cosmetic mortician person for shaving off your moustache) for two days. At this point I was in the first stage of grief; denial.

My brothers and I spread your ashes on the property you were born on, the farm where you grew up, your favorite fishing lake, and your favorite hunting post. Still in denial.

Buried the remainder of your ashes and said my final goodbye… yep. Still in denial.

Ten months afterward, my dad walked me down the aisle, I said, “I do,” and it STILL hadn’t completely registered to me that you weren’t there on my big day.

So three weeks ago? When I finally came to terms with your passing? I went through the last four stages of grief in a whirlwind of erratic, insane emotions I don’t think a seasoned psychologist could have handled.

I was angry. So angry I ended up screaming at my husband for absolutely no reason one night.

I began bargaining. I prayed every night that God would send you to my dreams (and that I would remember it). I just wanted a few more moments with you.

I was sad. I’m still sad. So sad that it has taken me 3 hours to get to this point in my letter because I can’t see the computer screen through my tears.

I selfishly wish I could call you up and you would just tell me everything will work out. I would give anything for you to have watched me walk down the aisle and dance with me at my wedding. I’m not sure I even want to walk in graduation when I get my Master’s because you won’t be there. I find myself overwhelmed with grief when I think about the fact that you will never get to hold your great-grandchildren.

But through that selfishness, I am finding peace in knowing you are no longer in pain – knowing your legs are strong, your heart is healthy, and you are smiling again. I see you playing fetch with Leo and Max in a big, open field. I can imagine you teasing and giving your sisters and brothers a hard time for silly things; something that made you such a wonderful man to be around. I know you are fishing and hunting and doing everything your poor health and immobility wouldn’t let you do the last couple years of your life.

The past couple weeks have been really hard, and I know today will probably be the worst of all. But please know I am not crying for you. I am crying for me today. I am crying because I miss you. I am crying because I wasn’t able to tell you all about Brian and my camping trip last weekend. I am crying because I am selfish and I want to hear your voice one last time.

I remember watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and the characters making a big deal about actually saying, “So-and-So died.” The word “died” was key here. Not “gone,” or “passed away.” They had to say the loved one, “DIED.”

I think that’s going to be my goal this year, telling (and convincing) myself you died. I think maybe that will help me shift in to accepting this whole shebang. I know I’ll see you again someday, but for right now I need to realize you’re no longer here. I need to come to grips with the fact that you are dead.

(Holy shit that is hard to say.)

I love you and I miss you so. much. So effing much.

Goodbye, Grandpa… I will see you again someday.

All my love,

Jen Pen

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Comments»

1. carissajaded - August 30, 2012

Lady, oh how I’ve missed your blog. But I’m not sure my reading of this was the best timing, (I’m about to walk into work and I’m crying my head off) With the exception of getting married, I’ve been going through a similar ordeal. My grandad died last July. I cried, but life went on. This last month my car broke down for good and my grandmother offered up his car. The car he taught me to drive on. The car that still smells of him and everything he owned. I can’t sit inside without remembering conversations we had like they were yesterday. I’ve been having dreams about him and, think, just now really realizing what it means to not have him here anymore. I’m sorry jeney! I hope it gets easier. I really really do.

2. bellerenee - August 30, 2012

I’m so sorry, Jen. I know how much he meant to you. ::hugs::


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