Tears of a Brokenheart

July 2, 2008
By Emma Ogle, Independence, MO

I stood there dumbfounded. Shock was about the only emotion I could comprehend for the first time in my life. I felt my world crashing down around me. He promised. He had promised me.

I cried. I cried for what felt like an eternity. I cried until there were no more tears left for me to shed. I felt his loss deep in my bones. My mother tried her best to console me. You know the whole, put her arm around your shoulders, stroke your hair and tell you everything will be alright. That it was that person’s time to go kind of thing. The kind of thing that doesn’t work. I couldn’t stop the tears that poured down my cheeks like a waterfall. I was a hysterical mess. The news of his death was coursing through my veins like venom. That one sentence resonating in my ears. I felt completely numb, like nothing else mattered.

The news I’m referring to is my grandfather’s death. He was the glue that held our family together. I missed him already. Of course, I always knew that there was a chance that he wouldn’t get better. The doctors told us that much. They have to, it’s in their job description. I just never expected him to go so soon.

My grandfather had been diagnosed with Leukemia about a year prior to his death. He was prepared though. I guess he knew instinctively, like that gut wrenching sensation that makes your stomach drop, that it was going to be bad.

He started chemotherapy as fast as he could. He had decided that he was going to fight the cancer. I was so proud that he had decided not to let the cancer claim his life without a fight. He was told that he was going to have to be hospitalized. At least he gave up the smoking.

Months later, it was October. I got to go and visit my grandfather at the hospital for Halloween. I remember feeling angry that I had to go and spend Halloween in a hospital. What kind of nine year old kid would want to go to a hospital for Halloween? I mean, it’s a hospital. The first thing you think of when the word comes up is “Oh no. What happened?” Then the smell. That pungent, sterile, sick person smell. Yeah, happy Halloween indeed.

As the months progressed my grandfather got better. The doctors released him from the confinement of the hospital’s suffocating clutches. They told him there was a pretty good chance that the cancer could and would come back though, even with his bone marrow transplant. So with heavy hearts, we hoped, and we prayed every night. Day in and day out we prayed for some miracle to happen and that the cancer wouldn’t come back. I guess the prayer lines were always on voicemail when we prayed.

Another year goes by. I turn ten. I’m so happy that my grandpa is there. I was always his favorite. Grandpa came to my soccer games, took me to the high school football games so I could see my favorite cousins playing in the band, he still came to my cousins’ band concerts and the award ceremonies for school. Then he took a nose dive for the worst.

Midnight. A time where most ten year old children are in bed, dreaming of whatever little kids dream of. The time when we got a phone call from my frantic grandmother. She says that Grandpa’s sick. High fever, sores all over. Dad wakes us up. Dressed in our pajamas, we make our sleepy bodies to get in the car and drive across the highway.

He didn’t look so good. He looked like he was in a lot of pain. Hallucinations. They aren’t any good either. I was scared and sleepy. I was entirely too groggy to process anything going on around me. I barely register the fact that Dad and Grandma are talking to Grandpa. Telling him what he is seeing isn’t real. Grandma talks to Dad alone in the hallway. She says she got an appointment for Grandpa at the doctor's office tomorrow early in the morning.

The cancer has reared it’s ugly head once again. This time the doctors said he only has about a 10 percent chance of living. We visit him in the hospital daily. Most of the time my sisters and I had to stay in the waiting room with our Mom. Oh how I grew to loathe those sliding glass doors with that ugly red sign that reads “No children beyond this point.” The anger returns this time at the nurses, doctors and that insufferable door. I was only let past those doors once or twice. I was allowed because they knew that he wouldn’t pull through it this time.

Daddy stays at the hospital with Grandma and Aunt Teresa. They said that he started seeing people who had already passed on. Daddy didn’t want us to stay in the room for too long. At this point all that the doctors can do is give him drugs so he won’t feel the immense pain. I wished there was some kind of drug to help me with my suffering. My heartbreak. I was ten years old and loosing one of my favorite family members. I was extremely close with my grandpa. Grandma says that I was a lot like him. The dreary, depressing days wear on. One morning my Dad calls on his cell phone from the hospital. my grandpa had died during the night.

I cried at his funeral. I had never cried at a funeral before. Looking back on it now, I think it kind of rude to cry at somebody’s funeral. Think about it. We cry because we are sad. We lost the person’s presence in our lives. We miss them. Everything in our lives is going to be different. Even at a funeral all we think about is ourselves. I still cry about it. I cry every time my birthday comes around. I get emotional at my soccer games. I cry at the end of a musical performance. I will cry when I get my drivers license and I can guarantee you that I will cry when I graduate. I’ll cry when I go to college. I cry because I know that he would have loved to have been there. I cry because I know in my heart that he is there with me. I cry because even to this day I still miss my grandpa. I kind of skipped over the whole grieving process.

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