This I Believe
I believe in the finality of death. When I was thirteen, my grandmother passed away
peacefully at home, and at the time I believed that even though she wasn't here with me
physically, somehow spiritually she would always be present. I told myself that when I really
needed her, she would find a way to reach me. After all, she always had--no matter the
circumstances. The thing that I have come to realize is that no matter how strong the bond is
between the living, death ultimately brings that bond to its end.
When you lose someone, people try to bring you comfort by saying that the departed will
forever live in your heart and mind. There is some truth to this statement, for your memories of
someone do not die with them. I can still hear my grandmother's voice; I can remember our last
conversation. However, my grandmother living in my mind is contradictory of her being in my
world. Memories are just a cold comfort that hurts us more than they help us. Memories don't
replace a warm body, and that's the thing that hurts the worst: knowing that you'll never get that
The realization that I have lost my grandmother for good is still surreal even though on
April 7, it will be two years since she has been gone. I cannot be selfish and say that I am
the only one who experienced grief after my loss, when I was not the only one hurting. Having
lost a significant person in my life, I have come to realize that I should value those still in it. I am
grateful for the countless hours my parents will spend talking with me about anything that comes
to mind and my brother and sister who, no matter what, always try to find a way to make me laugh.
All of these people went through this time of darkness, and found that there was light at the end
of the tunnel after all. And whenever I find myself agitated with them, I only recall my
desperation to hold onto my grandmother during her final hours to feel my heart surge with love
and relief that they are still here for me to hold on to.
That's the thing about the finality of death-- once they're gone, the show is over with no
more episodes left to air; you're just left with the reruns that every now and then you'll catch
when you least expect them. Their life is the show and your memories are the reruns that come
to mind unexpectedly. Even though loss always darkens a corner of your world, it lends a glow
of light because of those who remain. If I was ever presented with the choice to see and hear
my grandmothers voice I'd gladly change my perspective for this opportunity. Although, I will
never be able to relax in the warmth of her presence, I hold my hands up to the realizations that
losing her has left me with: learn to cherish the time that you have with significant people in your
life, for you never know when they will be gone. When the hourglass runs out there's no turning
back the hands of time regretting that you didn't treasure them while they were here.