Dealing With Death

By Arianna Marks

Throughout my life, I have lost family members. Although it was sad simply because a life was lost, I did not mourn due to not personally knowing them. I always thought as funerals as depressing, so I told myself I would never attend one unless it was immediate family.

Unfortunately, on June 2, 2018, I attended a funeral for the first time in years, to celebrate the life of my grandmother, Willa Dean.

It was May 27, 2018, a day I will never forget. I remember every detail of that day clearly. I came home and took a nap after working a double shift. My father woke me up and told me go downstairs with the rest of family. We never have family meetings unless it was a serious situation. I assumed my siblings and I were in trouble, but I was far from wrong.

My father then broke the news. “It’s never a good way to say this, but your grandmother Tiny passed away in her sleep today. Terry (her neighbor) found her on the couch. It was natural causes, she passed away peacefully.” Since those words left my father’s mouth, my life has not been the same.

My grandmother was such an amazing woman that affected so many lives, especially mine, directly and indirectly. My grandmother raised my siblings, cousins, and myself while our parents were at work.

She is the reason I loved WWE. Even though I stopped watching it, I would stay updated just to tell my grandmother everything.  She was also my support system. She was the only person that supported my college, major, and career choices. She would encourage me to pursue my dreams and was always proud of me.

My family would often joke that I was her favorite grandchild since she showed obvious favoritism. But little did they know our bond was much stronger than anyone could imagine.

During my early teenage years, I suffered with depression. I didn’t have any school friends, and I felt like nobody understood me, only my grandmother. At one point of time, I would only feel happy around her. We would talk for hours, laughing and crying together. Through our conversations, I realized the only people that understood us were each other. We literally could not live without each other. Once I made that realization, I fought my depression.

I lived for my grandmother.

Once I found out she passed, I had many emotions. I was shocked because she seemed to be so healthy and happy when I last saw her, which was a few days before her death.

Oddly, I was grateful in a sense, because I was able to remember my last moments with her. If I had not visited her, I would not be able to remember any details pertaining to my last visit.

I was confused, because I did not know how I would live without her. Finally, I was devastated because I never told her my new goals in life, said my final goodbyes, thanked her for being my support system, and how she saved me from depression.  

That summer my depression resurfaced, but this time it was different. I was not sad as before, but I was angry and did not have the will or motivation to do anything. If it was not for my job and my classes, I would have been in bed all day.

I tried to use those as distractions, but it did not work. Due to my lack of motivation, I did poor in my classes. I spent what seemed to be an endless amount of money on hair, nails, and clothes. I changed my complete look and wardrobe. While I did enjoy my new additions to my closet, it did not stop me from crying for endless hours at night.

Of course my family was sadden by the loss, but they never seemed to show it. Therefore, I always assumed I was over reacting and never told my parents where I was mentally.

Similar to my early teenage years, I suffered alone, this time without the help of my grandmother. I was at an all time low, and had no clue how to recover from this, or if I can.

It was time for me to move into my college dorm and eventually I realized I just needed time to be away from home, and not surrounded by people, places, and objects that reminded me of my grandmother.

With the help of God, I was able to recover from my short-lived depression. Although I was not much of a believer before my grandmother’s death, God helped me heal and gave me many signs that everything will be all right.

As I reflect and process everything that has happened over the past couple of months, I came to the conclusion that I have accepted my grandmother’s death.  

I have yet to reach my complete level of happiness and I am unsure if I can regain my happiness. But, what I do know is that I have changed and grown as an individual. Although, throughout the process I became pessimistic, angry, and nonchalant, my grandmother’s death helped my become the strong person I needed to make necessary life choices.

For those reading this and is or have experienced what I am going through, it absolutely sucks.

Promise me, you will get through this. Everything will be ok.

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