The Journey Ahead

Shiva is over. 

The obligated seven day mourning period, filled with hundreds of people coming to comfort my mother and her family, has ended.

But the struggle starts now. To face real life without my grandfather there. To try to find the new normal without breaking down.

It’s a challenge that nobody is interested in facing. A challenge that will come, ready or not, and we aren’t ready.

How can you prepare for a future lacking someone so important?

How can you go on with life, as if nothing happened?

And why does the world expect you to?

Why does a principal tell a granddaughter “It’s not an excuse to not do your schoolwork”

How can the whole world not see the tears in our eyes, our broken hearts, our absolute devastation, how can you think we are using this as an excuse in any way?

My heart breaks a little more as I watch each person exit the house, suddenly chatting to their friend, because they get to leave this behind. They get to go home and be truly happy, without another thought of what they visited.

But those inside the house have to face a real future, a scary one. They can’t just leave the house and move on, it follows them home.

The past week I had a terribly heavy feeling in my stomach that I always used to associate with my desire to go home.

Now I recognize that it is a desire to escape to normal, but I can’t escape this time. Wherever I will go, the reality will find me.

My heart is so very heavy, and my hand has held my grandmothers so tightly, as if I could keep her whole.

As the world calls me, telling me of responsibilities I can’t let myself see as important anymore, I take my grandfather with me, to guide me along the ups and downs of my life ahead.

I ask him to help me make the right decisions and to help me be a person that people see him in.

Maybe I can be a small part of what he was, achieve a quarter of what he has and make him and my grandmother so very proud of me.

With a heart in shards, and still so heavy, I face life with the memories and stories of my beloved Zeidy, and I will carry all that I have learnt into my future.

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