A Memory that Will Never Fade Away

December 10, 2009
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Looking back at the childhood memories, I reminiscence many events that I won’t ever be able to forget. Every child has someone that they look up to and admire- a family member, a friend, or even a celebrity. At age five, the last year that I lived in Pakistan, I was always with my grandfather. A man with a big heart, my grandfather always knew how to cheer me up when I was in a bad mood. He and I were never apart: wherever he went I would always follow him, asking him questions. My grandfather, who I called “Abu,” showed me how to milk cows on our farm, and how to feed the chickens. He would never get aggravated or impatient with me when I didn’t learn how to do things the first time and showed me the easiest way to do things. In my mind, I always thought that my grandfather and I would always live together and nothing would ever change. Little did I know that so much would change without me even knowing... My grandfather passed away on June 20, 1999, when I was only five years old. That same morning, I went to wake my Abu up, but he would not open his eyes. I was so naïve that I thought he was just playing a game with me, but after trying for a while, I started getting nervous. I ran and called my father and told him what happened. He told me to go in my room, and that he would tell me when to come out. A little while later, my parents came in my room, their faces solemn and glum. They tried to explain to me that my Abu’s body didn’t work anymore and the doctors couldn’t fix it. Because I was so young, I didn’t understand death and what my parents were trying to tell me. Slowly, I began to understand what they meant; my grandfather had died and I would never see him again. I thought everything that was happening was a dream; this couldn’t be happening to me. Abu and I were just playing hide and seek just
1yesterday! I didn’t know what to say or do, because I wasn’t
ready to face the truth. My parents tried their best to help me cope with Abu’s death, but nothing seemed to help. Even after a month after Abu’s death, I stilled hadn’t changed the way I acted towards people and stayed locked up in my room and was always acting indignant towards everyone. It was clearly visible that I was lamenting Abu’s death, and I was in deep angst. My family tried to talk with me, but their tries were ineffectual. I was longing to see my grandfather’s tan face and his questioning eyes that would always crinkle when he smiled. Judging from my actions, my parents started getting worried and decided to call a physiatrist because I wouldn’t eat and speak to anyone. When I met my doctor, Sonia, she was very kind towards me. Sonia told me that she wanted to help me cope with my Abu’s death, showing deep compassion towards me. Judging by her attitude, I decided to talk to her and become “friends” with her. She explained to me that it was okay to feel bad about Abu’s death, but that didn’t mean that I quit doing the other things that I used to do. Working around the clock, my “friend”, and I played and did the same things I used to do with my grandfather. My parents were pleased with my progress and did everything they could to make me how I used to be. Before long, I had started playing with my friends and talking to my family a lot more, and did everything with them that I used to do with Abu. At first, when I thought of him, my eyes filled with tears and I felt the same way like I did at the beginning. But after talking to my friends and family about the pain that I was going through, my eyes are filled with the memories that I had with my grandfather. Dealing and coping with a death of a family member is complicated. Everyone sees death in a different viewpoint, so it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is. My grandfather’s death had a great effect on me, but it also made me realize that my life doesn’t stop and that I must move on. It helped me understand that if I repressed my feelings, it would be harder for me to get over the pain. Although it has been ten years since his death, I still remember him every single day, and miss him extremely. I am starting to forget the minor details of the time that he and I spent together, but I know that I will never forget him and will never forget the love he gave to me.

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