2017 has taught me a lot about loss.
Firstly it was my boyfriend. This happened in January - so a great start to the year. He didn't die, just decided that he didn't want to be with me anymore. Then just a few weeks ago in May, my grandad sadly passed away.
Me and my boyfriend didn't exactly have a long relationship - only a couple of months. And in all honesty I'm not sure he even realises that what he did had such a huge effect on me. I myself am still shocked that him leaving me had such a big impact. He didn't treat me as well as he should have. And to be frank, apart from being Czech and speaking like 4 languages, he didn't have all that much going for him. He wasn't bad looking but if he was Scottish I probably would have found him a bit boring. Yet apparently I fell for him a lot harder than I thought and when he told me he didn't have feelings for me anymore...
That's probably the main difference I've noticed between these two losses. With my boyfriend, the hurt is internal. Whereas the grief I feel for my grandad is weirdly external, sort of like a shadow I keep catching out of the corner of my eye.
Right after the break up, I couldnt stop crying. Could barely get out of the bed in the morning. He was on my mind every second of every day and to a lesser extent still is. It was absolutely heartbreaking to me that he is still out there somewhere living his life, just he doensn't love me anymore. It's taken me until know to think; fuck him. Nobody who could treat me with such disrespect is worth so much tears and heartache.
In a horrible way, sometimes I think losing my grandad is slightly easier because he didn't stop loving me.
But maybe his death still hasn't sunk in properly.
It wasn't exactly a surprise when I got the phone call. In fact, I knew what my dad was going to tell me before he even said the words. My grandad was diagnosed with cancer in January 2016. He had CUP (cancer of unknown primary) and this meant that the doctors couldn't do any targeted treatment. It was also very advanced by the time they caught it. He had chemotherapy but it made him so weak that he had to stop. By March the doctors were saying he only had a few months, weeks even.
But my grandad was a fighter. He made it a year. He lived to meet 2 new grandchildren.
The last few weeks were bad. The tumours spread to his spine and he became paralysed. He lost his voice and could only communicate in whispers. Then a few days before he passed, he had a stroke and couldn't communicate at all. But in the end he died peacefully in his sleep at home.
He did well for himself and had a good life. He had 4 great sons and a wonderful wife and many friends. He had a good life.
It's weird living in a world where my grandad doesn't exist. I keep expecting him to walk through the door or to come thumping down the stairs. To welcome me with a glass of wine when I arrive at his house after a long journey. And when I see his jacket or those brown leather shoes he always wore, I still half expect him to be listening to The Archers on the radio or watching sport on the TV.
I know that my grandad will always live on in my memory. He's had massive influence on my life, and I wish I had told him that and told him how much he means to me. He is my role model. He is who I want to be like in the future. He has helped me realise what I want out of life, made me want to be more adventurous, helped me realise the importance of friends and family and people. He did not like black and white and preferred to see the world in shades of grey, and I want to be more like that. To question and to discuss and to be open minded.
I feel sad that I can't turn to him for advice anymore. Because he always had something to say and he was usually right.
Enough with the sadness though, I don't think he would have wanted me to wallow in it too much. Life goes on and you just have to deal with it I guess.
Hopefully the rest of the year will be better.