Today I had to say goodbye to my best friend.
I never thought I could feel a pain like this. I never thought that I would ever be so overcome with grief that my body would be in an unbearable physical pain and that I would be so overcome with sadness that I wouldn’t be able to see. Then again, I never imagined a life where my Grandad wasn’t in it. He was my best friend. He is my best friend. He taught me more than anyone else ever has. He is the light that guided me through the darkest times. He was my shoulder to cry on.
He is my favourite person in the world. Every single event was something to tell Grandad about. Every single celebration in my life he would celebrate with me. Almost every Sunday, without fail, my Grandad would come over and he and my dad would play a round of golf before coming home to have a cup of tea and whatever sweet treat he’d brought for us that week. I’ve had 22 years of these Sundays, but suddenly, they are gone.
There’s no more Sunday afternoon tea. There’s no more life advice chats on the sofa. There’s no more conversations about his childhood in the war. There’s no more exciting tales about how he took my mum and her 2 brothers on a trip to Scotland in a two-seater convertible with my mum perched on the back. There’s no more dinners at his favourite restaurant where he knows every staff member by name and is treated as part of the family. There’s no more double cheek kisses. There’s no more hugs.
I am heartbroken. This pain is like nothing I’ve ever felt. My world is feels empty, like the life has been sucked out of it with him. He was the energy in my life. He was the sun.
The impact of this grief is made even stronger by the fact that this is the second grandparent I’ve lost in the space of 8 months. Both of them were people I had never imagined my life without. They are both so integral to my being that I never once truly realised that one day they wouldn’t be there. Obviously I knew that day would always come, but I never thought about the aftermath, about the emotional agony and turmoil that it would leave me in.
I knew that I would feel heartbroken, lonely and hopeless, but what I didn’t anticipate was the feeling of fear. I am so scared. I am a scared of a world without you, Grandad. I am scared of what my life will now be like. How can there be a world without you in it? How can the world carry on when you are not there to guide me through it? The fear is so intense and controlling. “No one ever told me, that grief felt so like fear” said C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis and I have that in common. I was told that it would hurt, yes, but not that I would feel like my internal organs had been ripped out and dangled before my eyes; not like a nuclear bomb had just been dropped on me; not like I would never be happy again.
Grief is so unique that it’s almost impossible to be helped. There is no one feeling the exact same way as you do when you lose someone, and there never will be. J.K. Rowling wrote in Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix: “You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.” I feel like I’m bleeding with grief. It’s pouring out of me like water that’s rushing out of a burst dam. It’s clouding over everything, and I am feeling it with my whole body.
This grief is the result of 22 years of pure love, of pure kindness and of pure joy. I am feeling this grief because the relationship I had with my Grandad, my best friend, is one that can never be paralleled. He gave me the world, and I looked up to him like he was a god.
I will always remember your warmth, your kindness, your loyalty and your strength. Your wisdom is unparalleled and your energy is infectious. You always went above and beyond to make us feel loved and cared for. You were honest, you were truthful and you were supportive. You are everything a human being is supposed to be. You were the definition of life itself.
Hopefully one day I will as good a person as you were. I will carry you everywhere I go.
I hope I make you proud.
Until we meet again, I love you, Grandad.