Hold on to the love, not the loss.

It’s passed midnight and I am sitting here in my living room watching my son sleep, Netflix is on. I always have the TV on, I don’t like the silence these days, nights are the hardest when it’s silent, I can hear the sound of the machine, the machine that marked my grandpa’s last breath, I have to leave the TV on, I need the noise to drown out the memory of that dreaded beeep.

It was a month after my grandfathers death that I found out I was pregnant. He would always tell me that he was ready to meet his great grandchild, he wanted me to have a baby so badly. I wasn’t ready, I’ve never been a kid person they are scary and cannot communicate with you, all that freaks me out. Getting adjusted to  my new life has been hard, I am still mourning the loss of my biggest cheerleader, my mentor, my hero, my second dad, my friend, my grandfather , he was so many things to me. I miss him so much, I miss our talks, I miss going to Mexico and visiting him  I even miss going to his doctor appointments with him and helping him take his medicine. The hardest part is learning to live my life without him. I am building new memories and he won’t be a part of them but wherever he is I know he is watching me.

I decided to go to therapy about a month ago, when my son choked on his milk. That was the scariest thing that I have ever experienced in my life. He was in his bassinet and I was sorting through paperwork and all of a sudden I just decided to look at him and I saw his face turn red and he was gasping for air. I picked him up and started to basically beat his back until he could breath again. Everyone around me kept telling me that its normal for babies to choke on their milk and didn’t seem to think it was a big deal at all, when I was terrified to even be alone with my baby after that.

Every time I would feed my son I would picture my grandfather choking and then going into a coma that eventually lead to his death. When he was in the hospital he wanted orange juice so I went and got him some fresh squeezed OJ and as he was drinking it he started to aspirate, I ran out of the room screaming down the hospital hall for help. Later that day he went into a coma and then a few days later he passed away. I would associate my son choking with my grandpa choking and then dying. That’s when I knew I had to get help.

As my grandpa’s one year anniversary of his death is approaching I am realizing that I never got to properly grief his death like the rest of my family did. I didn’t cry when we were at the hospital when he died, I kept it all inside and together even at his funereal I barely cried. I needed to be strong for my dad, he like any other son (or daughter) did everything and anything for his father. He was so close to him, always dropping everything to be by my grandpas side. My grandpa was the person he leaned on when he needed someone and that person was gone. So I wanted to be that person for my dad even if it was only for a day.  I wanted to let him to lean on me and I tried my hardest to keep it all together and not let him see me cry or break down. My dad needed me and I put my big girl panties on.

I came back home and dived into work, I kept myself busy all the time then I found out I was pregnant a month later. My pregnancy became my obsession and I never allowed myself to think about anything else. Until the day I could no longer keep it all “together” and I just broke down. I am now coping with my grandfathers death a year later but it still seems so fresh to me.

“Grief only exists where love lived first.”

-Love ,

Joanna H

I’ll see you on the other side of the starts.




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