Moving on will show you a lot about who you are, what you truly want, & what you have no desire to waste your time on. ~ April Mae Monterrosa
It’s been over a month since I lost my Grandpa. He was my hero, my role model. He gave me nothing but love, laughs, and invaluable lessons. I think about him a lot when I drive and to my surprise when new music comes across the radio. It makes sense that Dolly and Cash would bring back memories, but even Adele and Charlie Puth draw my thoughts to him. The sadness still overcomes me. I have to let out a few tears thinking about how much life will be different and all the moments I won’t be able to share with him, but then I find myself smiling. Smiling at the memories I do have. Smiling because I don’t have many good memories from childhood but he has given me this gift that most people have- great fun memories to hold onto and happy stories to tell.
Looking towards the mountains and the rivers, I am reminded of whats important- like grandpa is talking to me through the simple beauty in life. It makes me stop and think- am I just floating by? I want to make an impact in someones life, like he has made in mine and so many others lives. I can’t fix peoples teeth or give them a new heart, but I can listen and I can give advice to people going through a hard time or stuck in a rut. I have a lifetime of experience in overcoming hard times and can share my story and what I’ve learned to help me, to help others.
I’ve never been afraid of death. I’m still not, however, it has become a real thing- one that has hit close to home. Death is part of being human, it’s the final step to getting where we belong. Everyone’s time will run out. It’s part of life and we all move on, the world continues to go on weather you like it or not. So we have a choice every morning. Will you be sad and depressed or wake up and force a smile until it becomes natural? Happiness is a choice and it may not be an easy choice, especially when being angry and sad can be so addicting. Our brain is a powerful tool and we can train it to help us choose happiness. There are so many things to be grateful for and sometimes we need to be reminded of that. Like I said in my previous post, all emotions are temporary, including happiness. So you need to give yourself permission to feel sad and to get mad, but then have a system set in place to help you snap out of it so it doesn’t consume your life.
I could go on about what I do to get myself out of a deep rut(in future posts), but in regards to feelings around death of a loved one, this is what I do. Let myself be sad. Let myself be mad. I don’t, however, take it out on anyone else. I find myself thinking instead about all the great memories I shared with him and how he truly is in a better place. I find comfort knowing he didn’t suffer long, because that would be the worst thing for him. He has given me something to strive for in life and taught me characteristics that I want to mirror. I’ll take a minute and Google quotes- that usually makes me feel better. After I have cried or been angry long enough, I will tell myself “OK, Time to Change! Do I really want to waste my time being..”. The answer is always no and I’ll pick myself up and usually do some kind of exercise and do one thing productive, whether that’s clean the closet, do the dishes, write a blog. I put on some happy music, stand outside, and think about what I am grateful for.
One thing I am grateful for is that I still have my grandmothers. I was never raised with a “close” family. My parents were divorced when I was young and fought for a good 15 years after that. It is easy for family to drift apart and I didn’t want that. So, I have always tried to make a point to talk to my family and call them often. My family is all over the place and it’s hard to see them all, but thanks to phones and the internet, it’s much easier to communicate and stay close. When I moved to Chattanooga the phone calls kind of slowed down a bit- mostly because of the time change(my family lives in the West) and my work hours. With the passing of my grandpa, I made a commitment to get back to how it use to be and make sure I call everyone at least every other week. I talked to my grandma today. She said she feels she is just wasting time now, trying to fill the minutes with anything. There isn’t much purpose just actions to pass time. This is how a lot of people feel after losing a loved one. It makes perfect sense that this would happen and this is when it’s so important to be able to find purpose again and choose to live happy. I told her grandpa would hate that! He wasn’t a time waster. He filled every hour with things he loved and we need to do the same!
It’s never too late to start doing the things you love and make you happy. People say life is too short to be unhappy. I know its true, and have tried to live my life to this since being on my own, but I was hit hard with this truth again. It was a reminder that life is truly precious. I don’t believe anyone can truly understand the fragility of life until they are personally effected by a life changing event. On the flip side, these life changing events also show you just how strong you can be. I have been through quite a bit of shit growing up, but it made me realize I didn’t want to waste time on anger and hatred. I was blessed with a bad memory that has helped a lot, but I didn’t really understand how precious time is until my grandpa. Living in the Now is so important, because you never know when your time is up. Don’t waste precious time. It’s not worth being angry, worried, upset, sad- the sun will rise tomorrow and what happened today will then become history. What kind of history do you want to pass on?
Wake up, Smile, and Live.