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What It’s Like to Lose a Grandparent at a Young Age

Losing someone who you loved dearly, at such a young age, breaks your heart into a million

pieces. Having a grandparent die before you were even born leads to constant questions. What were they like? Do I look like them? Do I have their personality? You just constantly wonder what your life would’ve been like with them. I learned about my first loss of a grandparent at the age of 6. Then again three years later, at the age of 9.


How can you process death at such a young age? You don’t. You’re just swarmed with faint

memories and a lesson that people leave, with no good explanation, for the rest of your life.

You have just learned how to ride a bike, you barely have lost all of your teeth, and now you are

supposed to learn the reality of death.


You may have seen your mom cry over a movie, but those tears go away. These tears are

forever. The next couple of days, even weeks after, they keep coming. Seeing your grandmother cry in hospice as you say goodbye to your grandfather.


What do you do when you’re 9 years old, saying goodbye to your grandmother, and seeing your

dad, the strongest person in your life, break down?


The thing about losing grandparents at a young age is at first you don’t necessarily know what’s

going on. You begin to learn how death works, the feeling that the people you love the most are

being taken away from you.


You realize no more trips to their houses anymore. Grandpa won’t be there to push you on the swing outside of his house. He won’t be there to take you for rides on his lawn mower. You suddenly lose interest in orange peanuts, because you only ever ate them with him. No more playing video games on the computer together.


They won’t be there for holidays.


Grandma won’t be there to pick you up from school with a Pepsi and a chocolate mint. She

won’t be at her house to make cookies, pudding or banana bread. We won’t be able to eat ice

cream with chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, and marshmallows together. No more sleepovers.


You start to get angry because you feel like you didn’t get enough time with them. They don’t get to see you grow up. They don’t get to see you ride your bike all around the neighborhood. Weren’t there for all of the grandparent’s days at school.


They weren't there for high school graduation.


They won't meet the man you marry.


They won’t be there on your wedding day.


You question if things would be different. Fantasizing about what life would be like with them

all here... then spending the night crying because that can only be a dream.


Would they be able to give you advice when your parents are at a loss for words? Would your

family be closer if they were still here? Have you disappointed them with some of your choices?

Are they proud of the person you’ve become?


None of these questions can be answered. All you can do is hope that they are watching you

from above, smiling. Although they aren’t with you anymore, you have a feeling that you have a few amazing guardian angels watching over not only you, but your family as well.

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