Ask Dr. Christina: I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my grandfather and I feel bad

Dear Dr. Christina,

My grandfather died less than a year ago and the anniversary of his death is coming up. I cannot get over this loss. How does one get over the loss of their loved one when their loved one was their life? How does one start to believe that you are going to wake up from this nightmare? How does one come to realize that their loved one is never coming back? I feel so bad because I did not have a chance to say goodbye.

Dear Yolanda,
Thank you so very much for writing to me. When someone dies who is so close to you, it is perhaps one of life’s lessons that you may believe is cruel and unforgettable. The first year, believe me, is the hardest. Then believe it or not, it does begin to subside because you begin to realize that your grandfather would not want you to be here on this earth suffering. I am sure during all of the years he lived, he brought you joy and comfort. You must always remember that gift. There really is no explanation as to when it’s your time, my time, his time or when any of us will leave this earth.

I know you feel badly for not being able to be there to say goodbye, but perhaps your grandfather wanted you to remember him alive, and not while he was taking his last breath. Perhaps he wanted you to remain strong so you could carry on his message of living with love and about how important family is. It was a blessing that he was able to live all those years to teach you, to guide you, to make you laugh and to make you strong. There is no real answer as to why we must leave. How proud you must feel and how fortunate you are to have had all those years with him! Now it’s time to continue his message and make him proud.

I know that he would be so proud of you for remembering the date of his leaving. The fact that he was loved by a granddaughter like you was perhaps the greatest gift you gave him during his life. Remembering his ideas and the way he talked in order to share his teachings with others like you may be comforting for you. You will always feel him in your heart and soul. You’ll never forget him, nor will he ever forget you.

You did your job quite well as his granddaughter, for I know he would be quite proud of who you are. It’s probably just as comforting for him to know that you will continue to carry his memory with you throughout your life. The opportunity to carry his message is in your heart. There are many other people who do not have that opportunity – or don’t want to if they weren’t lucky enough to have a relationship with their loved one like you did. I do not know all the circumstances of his death, but I do know that in you heart, soul, and in your very essence of being that he will never be forgotten. He will continue to be an example for you and share how you must continue to live your life. In return, the greatest gift is for you to pay forward what you learned from him and share it with your family and friends.

It is okay to cry and tell others how you feel. You don’t have to be stoic and keep it within yourself. Talk with others whom you can boast to about all those wonderful memories you have of your grandfather. That is how people will remember him—through you.

It is important that you do not stay stoic or that you do not keep quiet and not express your feelings regarding his death. It is okay to express your true feelings to others through writing, talking, crying, or just being. It is not a good idea to hold all of this inside yourself, for this could lead you to becoming depressed, anxious and nervous. Losing a loved one causes us to feel a lot of emotions. It is healthy for you to let them out and show them to others, whether it is anger, sadness, frustration, grief, a few laughs at some memories, and a beautiful smile perhaps through the tears. I encourage you to be willing to show them all and them all flow out of you.

The sense of this great loss is hard sometimes to get through. It is a difficult time. It is so important for you to connect with whomever you feel are the most important people in your life right now and share with them how much your grandfather meant to you, as well how much they mean to you too. We must live in this present moment. We must go on. It is important to remember all those who have gone before us but is up to us to extend those memories to others including our children, our friends, and for ourselves.

For your own mental health, I encourage you to continue to live your life with peace and happiness.

I hope in some way that you will be able to understand what I’m saying to you. I hope it helps in some way to lessen the pain. Feeling the pain is normal. If you did not feel the pain, you may not realize how much your grandfather meant to you.

I am so thankful for your letter. I hope you can find comfort within my words, as well as within your spirit.

Thank you for sharing your feelings with me.

I wish you peace,

Dr. Christina

  • Posted By: doctorc
  • Tags: connect cry death death in the family death of a loved one dies family family death feelings gift grandfather grandparents heart life life lesson loss making peace memories moving on nightmare pain relationship rememberance saying goodbye share soul strong
  • Comments: 17

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