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I Need To Talk

Friends, I could use a coffee date. Are you down? I’ll buy. I just need to sit down and let out some thoughts. It has been a tiring couple of days (weeks?).

Work has been extra busy for the holiday and per usual, I’m stressed. I recently got back from Michigan for the Detroit Urban Craft Fair and I have my last show of the year (Renegade LA) this weekend. I’m thankful that there is a light at the end of this tunnel because honestly, I could use a break before Valentine’s Day mania.

So there’s that. I’m stressed from work. But that’s not what I need to talk about. I need to talk about my Gramps. I need to type it all out there so that I always remember.

I saw him while I was home. My mom, grandma and I went to the nursing home. I was nervous. I had heard the stories from my mom…about how he couldn’t talk anymore, how he rarely opens his eyes, how he chokes often. How he is miserable and tired.

I knew it would be hard to see. I thought that I could hold my emotions in at least until I got into the car to leave.

Nope. I lost it twice.

The four of us were sitting together, though the conversation was only between my mom, Granny, and me. My Gramps can hear and understand everything we are saying, but he can no longer talk because of the disease. Occasionally he would start choking and I’d rub his back and say “It’s ok Gramps.”

In an attempt to lighten the somber mood I mentioned the fact that I saw his family pictures hanging in his room, and joked that I made sure I was in them, that I was represented. My Mom said “He told me to make sure he doesn’t forget you.”

That’s when the tears started. I struggled to keep my composure but once my Granny started to tear up at the sight of me I had to get up and walk away. I went to the window and stared at the snowy grass, wiping my tears with my gloves.

Quickly after I settled down it was time to say goodbye and I knew it wasn’t the end of my tears. My Gramps put his hand up to my cheek, and I put my hand on top of his. “I love you” I said. “I love you.”


It was the perfect ending to my visit with him because it really conveyed everything I was feeling in that moment. And I know he felt it too.

Every time I think of this moment now, I cry. I wonder if it’s the last time I will see him. And more than anything I just hurt for him. I want him to be free of suffering. To be in peace. And if that happens soon, I will know that the last moment I had with him was incredibly special.

Join the discussion 27 Comments

  • Bethany says:

    Teared up reading this. Praying he gets peace soon.

  • This is exactly what happened when my Grandpa was ill and passed. Your post made me tear up reading it. I’m so sorry, and it stinks, and I wish I had something to say that would make you feel better. Hugs.

  • I’m really sorry to hear about your grandpa. You brought up memories of mine that I hadn’t thought about in years. He passed away when I was 12.
    I’m sending hugs your way.

  • Kara R says:

    Tears running down my cheeks! Always hold this moment close to your heart. You’ll never regret a moment you’ve spent with your family, even if it wasn’t always wonderful. I know this feeling, I’ve been there. HUGS to you!

  • Leonora says:

    Reading this brought back memories to when Bub’s grandfather was in the rehab center back in october. You remember them as one way (walking around, being able to talk, being able to take care of themselves) then you see them this other way and it hits you. I know its not comforting to hear this but I’m going to say to you the same thing I said to bub: you have this amazing gift to be able to see your grandfather before something happens. You have a chance to tell him you love him, hold him, and feel him and really take in these moments. When my friend died in the car accident I didn’t get a chance to soak it in, comprehend what was happening, and say goodbye. With your grandfather you are able to mentally prep yourself (although NOTHING will ever “prepare” you or make it “ok”) but at least you are able to lay it all out there and be with him and have (hopefully) no regrets of what you should’ve/could’ve/would’ve said if you had the opportunity. You were given the opportunity to see him while he is still here, to tell him you love him and to comfort him when he was feeling pain. That is truly special and I am happy you got that moment before it was too late. I love you girl and I am here for you!!!

  • BCshutterbug says:

    Sharing some tears with you here. It’s hard living away from family, especially when someone is ill. It is good to hear you got to have that moment with him.

  • gina says:

    this made me tear up. watching someone you love struggle with age and all the shit that comes with it is so hard. I have lost all my grandparents and it never gets easier. xoxo

  • Reading your article reminded me of my last times with my Grandma. She was in a nursing home & we knew her days were limited. I sat there trying to be upbeat with her, knowing she couldn’t respond but still pretending ~ only to crumble into tears. I would put myself together & try again. This cycle continued until I couldn’t take it anymore. I went into the hallway & bawled my eyes out.

    Now when these thoughts come back (which they do often), I remember all the fun times we had together (and there were LOTS). I feel better remembering her as my role model!

    Thinking of you & wishing you lots of strength & love!!

  • Take that with you, love. Always! That is so precious, you may not even realize just how much yet. In the span of a month I lost both of my grandparents, then my aunt. I didn’t get to say goodbye to a single one of them. I passed along my I-love-yous to my grandpa, but the cancer more or less had him in an incoherent state. My poor grandma, while she died of a stroke, had Alzheimer’s and didn’t know me (or anyone really) from Adam. Thanksgiving morning my aunt was just found dead in her bedroom. There didn’t get to be any goodbye’s, no real I-love-yous, no tears of sympathy. Just grief. So I’m glad you got that opportunity. It’s a precious gift so many don’t get.

    Love you, girl!
    Steph @ NewlyMynted

  • I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this.

  • lolly says:

    My thoughts are with you and your family during these hard times… I’m sorry, lady. Xo

  • I’m so sorry about what your grandpa and what you’re family is going through. It’s really hard when a grandparent is sick. My grandma wasn’t well for many weeks before she passed and was tired most of the time, but I also had a lovely last moment with her that I’ll remember forever. She made it to 101, so she had lots of great memories, and I’m sure you’re grandpa does too. My thoughts are with you.

  • Kat says:

    🙁 I’ve been through both of my grandpas’ passings. And Grandmas’. Not the happiest of times. But they made it to a ripe old age and had their family with them the whole way. He’s very lucky to have you as you are him.

  • I definitely teared up reading this as well. I wish I knew that the last time I saw my Grandpa would be the last time.. at least you have that loving moment together. xx

  • Huge hugs. He is lucky to have you.xx

  • Oh girl you got me in tears too. What a special moment to have with your gramps and thank you for sharing what’s on your heart.

  • <3 <3 My heart hurts for your right now. It’s so hard to let someone you love so much go, it’s even more hard to watch them slowly fade. You’re family is going through a lot right now and being far away makes you feel helpless and hurts even more. You have to rely on phone calls, and text messages, it’s hard. Crumble every now and then, it’s good for the soul. But hold on to all those precious memories you have of each other. I’m always here for you, and I make a mean mojito. <3 <3

  • Jaclyn says:

    I have this relationship with my nani. She sort of knows me, sort of doesn’t. I think she sees that I’m nice to her so that she must love me. Well, that, and I tell her, “I’m your favorite.” It sucks. I cry every time I think about her. I know I’m going to see her this Christmas, and I’m simultaneously excited and sad about it. Because at 90, who knows if there’ll be another Christmas.

    I feel you, hun, and I’m sending good wishes your way.

  • Sad face, lady. You got me all emotional. Seriously though, lots of love to you. Hope to give you an in-person hug at Renegade tomorrow. 🙂

  • I know all those feelings. And they are the hardest. I am sorry you have to feel the out of your control emotions take over. Love and hugs:)

  • Tia Berg says:

    I am so sorry you are feeling this way. My grandpa passed away three weeks ago and it was so incredibly hard. He too, was suffering. I am glad he no longer hurts and is in a better place but it is so difficult to deal with. I hope you get a little bit of a break (or at least a slow down) from etsy and can spend time for yourself and not have to worry about working.

  • Holly Murs says:

    This drove me to tears. What a very touching and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing this. I hope that your grandpa as well as your family find peace in this situation. Because this shows the true meaning of family, we featured your story in our Weekly Digest. You can read here

  • Anna says:

    This made me cry, cause i need to think back to my granny when i was in an similar situation 🙁

  • I’m getting choked up, this was so moving to read. I am so sorry you and family are going through this struggle, it’s never easy. This reminds me of how things were when my grandmother was still alive. It’s so nice to read you had such a lovely tender moment with him.

  • Aukele says:

    The power of touch! Its incredibly powerful. Everytime I watch Dear John and John’s dad reaches out for him I cry. When my dad was battling cancer, his tongue was swollen and he needed to a trach in order to breathe (no talking). I remember one specific time breaking down while driving him to an appointment with all the frustrations of dealing with his cancer and being a 21-22 year old, etc. And my dad just put his hand on my lap and gave me a squeeze. Suddenly everything was alright in the world. That simple gesture conveyed so much love and gratitude from him I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

    That gesture your grandpa gave you will stay with you forever and I’m sure conveyed everything you needed from him as well. Peace and comfort to you and your family!!! 🙂


  • I just read this. So sorry my friend. But just know… you are so lucky to have seen him and been there for him. My grandpa died alone. And he was the most supportive and loving person ever. It was SO SO hard for me and I still think of him watching over me.
    We really should have drinks soon. I feel like I owe you one. Plus our dudes would really love it. I’ll come to you. Text me.


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