Dealing With Loss


Madison writes about her journey to become more confident.

Smiles and laughter echoed through the living room on Christmas morning as my family opened presents and listened to my dad’s corny jokes. My grandmother sat peacefully in her rocking chair watching us enjoy the morning by the lit up tree and a fire. 

For the past 17 years of my life my grandma never really came around much but always had checked up on us and made sure we knew she loved us. I had so much love for her and she cared  for me and my siblings. She prayed every night that we were happy and healthy though she never had it easy.  

In December 2019, my grandmother moved in with us permanently because of complications with my aunt who she was living with at the time. We turned our office into a bedroom and did what we could to make our house feel like her own. We had a physical therapist and nurses come in to ensure her health. 

Things ran smoothly for a while. My dad would stay with her before work, and when he left for work I would get home from school and make sure she had what she needed. Later my mom would come home, make dinner for her and give her the medicine she needed before we helped her into bed. 

All day she would sit in her rocking chair watching TV and taking naps with the dog. She occasionally tried to figure out how to work her phone before getting frustrated and giving up. She had everything she could ever dream of right in the comfort of her new home with people who loved her unconditionally. 

Jan. 16, 2019 started out a normal day. I woke up, prepared for my doctor appointment and later arrived at school. At the end of the school day my mom had informed me that she would pick me up from school which I found odd considering I had a ride home from school everyday and she didn’t get off work until about 4:30 p.m. I called her and asked what happened and that’s when I heard the tremble in her breathing. I asked if my grandma was OK and that’s when I heard the whimper in her voice, and I immediately knew what happened. 

“Maw Maw passed away,” my mom said. “It’s only been about 30 minutes.”

I lost it and ran out of the school quickly finding my friends in the parking lot. They had seen me crying and knew exactly what happened. They engulfed me in hugs and tears. My grandma adored all of my friends just as much as they had adored her. 

I dreaded going home. She had died peacefully in her bed. When I arrived nurses and family greeted me at the door. I went straight to my sister and broke down again. I could not find the strength to walk over to my grandma’s side. Everybody stayed quiet, kind of shocked that she had gone so soon. When I saw my dad a 10-second hug felt like a lifetime while he cried on my shoulder. Finally, I found my strength and went to see my beautiful grandmother resting peacefully. She looked happy. I knew she made it to a better place. 

I laid in my pitch-black room playing a video of her blowing out her birthday candles on repeat. I could not sleep. All I could hear in the back of my head was her voice telling me how beautiful I am. 

It has now been nine months since she died. It has gotten easier to deal with the loss but there’s never a day I don’t think about her. I often find myself picking up clothing that she loved to see me in or even eating a certain food she enjoyed and think of her. 

A life lesson I learned from her is to never be too hard on yourself or others around you. She always put a smile on other people’s faces and always complimented everyone. She constantly had a big grin for absolutely no reason at all but I know now she lived her life naturally happy.