Saying goodbye.

It is never something that is easy. It is never something that is simple. It is never something that can be done just once. It is never something that leaves your heart intact.

I have been learning that over and over for the past year.

However, I have never had to say a goodbye quite like this before.

We held the funeral for my grandmother today. I wrote about her {briefly} on my old blog. Four months ago – roughly – she found out that she had terminal lung and throat cancer. Something {we believe} was caused by her many, many years of smoking. She got very ill, very quickly. Too quickly. Between going to university, studying for exams, trying to find someone to move into my old flat and not completely losing my mind, I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t find the time to see my grandmother. And now I so desperately wish I had.

She had been at my mother’s wedding – just a week ago – and she looked like a different woman. Her hair had fallen out from the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Her voice had gone raspy. She was constantly running out of breath and falling asleep in the middle of conversations. She was swollen up like a balloon and so fragile. Seeing her being lifted out of the helicopter and placed in a wheelchair near broke my heart. Seeing such a once strong and capable woman being completely consumed by such a disease shocked me to the core.

It was just a year ago when she was here; barking orders and running around like a busy bee and today I was standing in a church, listening to people talk about how wonderful and vibrant she was.

Part of it still feels like a dream. One when you know what’s going on but it’s as if you’re viewing it through a veil or a fog. You’re there but you aren’t there, if you know what I mean. For me, the turning point was when the coffin was being lowered into the earth. We were singing ‘you are my sunshine’ as she was being lowered and rain poured from the sky. I think it was ironic perfection.

Now onto a touchier part of this post: it’s no secret that I’m not religious.

I do not believe in an afterlife.*

I believe that we – humanity and all living things – are connected through fire. It’s a spirit that lives deep within us and connects us to everything that has existed. For, without fire, where would we be? This connection, once broken, returns to the Earth and in turn, when the time is right, is used in the creation of another being. Have you ever had a flashback of a place you’ve never been? Have you ever had a moment of déjà vu? Have you ever met an old soul? This is the current I am talking about. It’s that energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. That is a quote from Albert Einstein and it is something that I wholeheartedly believe in.

So, with that in mind, I will continue to see my grandmother everywhere.

I will see her in the hopeful ray of sunshine that peeks through the clouds. I will see her in a family of dolphins who swim together. I will see her in the rustle of wind through the trees. I will see her in the moonlight’s reflection on the water. I will see her in the darkness and in the light.

Today, though I said goodbye, I know it will not be long until I see her again.

I love you.

*That being said, I do not judge any of you who do have such beliefs. In fact, I have the utmost respect for you.

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3 thoughts on “Saying goodbye.

  1. Your beliefs are pretty much my exact beliefs, right down to the quote about energy not being created nor destroyed. I always use that line when I explain why I believe in ghosts but not a religious-ified afterlife. Anyway, I’m really sorry about your grandmother. Wishing you the best.

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