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Loss of a Loved One
I am Bryce G and I am 15 years old.
It was a bitter rainy day and my entire family was drawn to tears at this devastating event. My cousins, brother, and I were carrying the bitterly cold casket to the spot where it would be lowered into the ground, never to be seen again. I, the smallest of the group struggled to carry the casket because of how frail I was, and because of how upset I was. We placed it down on the stand as my parents and grandmother stood beside us with umbrellas in hand. The choir man read a prayer and my family and I placed flowers on the casket, my grandmother being the last to do so, and the expression on her face made me sick to my stomach. I could see the love and tragedy in her eyes as a tear ran down her face. She looked over the casket and cried, knowing that the love of her life was gone forever. After the prayer they lowered my grandfather into the grave, while the choir member sang a beautiful song. The doctors and everyone else thought that he'd be fine, but my grandmother in a similar situation knew his fate. Everyone always said that he couldn't bear to live without her, so he decided to pass earlier than her and meet her in heaven. I thought that this would be the worst moment of my 10 year old life, but little did I know that it was just the beginning.
Fading forward almost a month after the burial of my grandfather, I visit my grandmother in the hospital. I asked her if she was okay, obviously this was a dumb question, but I thought it would me feel better hearing her say she was okay. All she responded with was I love you. A flurry of emotions hit me when her only response was, “I love you,” I obviously said it back, but this time it meant so much more. She started to cry, as did I, because I knew she wouldn’t last much longer. She had cancer that was spreading quickly and she was helpless, barely able to lift her arm. I tried to stay positive, but I knew she wouldn't last much longer. We left the hospital and I went home. I prayed every night after that, wishing that she would last another day. I was young, but I'd go to their house everyday after school ever since I was in kindergarten and I was extremely close with her and my late grandfather. This was around the time of the new year, so I was happy for New Years and I was preparing the night before. That night I couldn't get the thought of the helpless look on my grandmother's face out of my head. I cried myself to sleep and I woke up ready for the day. My mom helped me with my face paint and putting my suit on. We took a few pictures and we joined the parade. This was one of the first years that my family was not going to my grandmothers after New Year’s to eat. I had a great day and I was extremely tired after the Mummers Parade, so I fell asleep as soon as I got home.
I had just woke up from that amazing sleep. Lightly colored mummers face paint smeared on my face, as I get up off the frigid black couch in my suit. Familiar faces of my family members all over as I get up and search to find my mom. I call out her name as I push and shove to get through the crying crowds, until I find my mother being consoled by the rest of my family. After this moment, I knew my life would never be the same. She doesn’t cry over anything, so I knew it was something bad.
"Mom?" I hesitantly announced confused and tired when I saw her crying.
"Bryce, I have to tell you something." She responded.
"What?" I asked.
She replied with, "Bryce, grandma passed away tonight."
Weeping, I answer with, "I'm sorry mom," trying to be strong as I slowly begin to break out in tears. The painful truth is finally hitting me as I cry along with my family. I'm feeling lost at this moment and I'm filled with indescribable feelings. I just want to ball up and cry, but I have to be strong for my mom. I hug her once again and tell her that I love her. I go up to bed and I cry myself to sleep. All of the memories of her and her amazing personality fill my mind and I'm upset, but happy that she is at peace and with my grandfather. A smile finds its way to my face as I cry and I'm filled with so many emotions until I fall asleep. I wake up feeling as if it was all a cruel nightmare, but I knew it wasn't. I go downstairs and I hug my family members and tell them that I love them. These deaths showed me that everyone in life is important, so I promised myself to never take anyone for granted again.
After multiple days of sulking and forcing myself to talk to people, I hear that her viewing is tomorrow. That morning I dragged myself out of bed as I ready myself for the viewing. I showed up to my aunts, uncles, and cousins all in line to say a prayer. I join them and when it's my turn I walk up to the open casket with my grandmother in it and kneeled. I couldn't help but notice how beautiful she was. Without the look of despair in her face. She was finally at peace and it warmed my heart. While kneeling I did as everyone else and I prayed. I will never forget that prayer.
"Mom-mom please watch over me in life, because I want you to see me succeed. I miss you and grandpa so much and I need your help to keep me going. I love you so much, and I will never forget you." I whispered under my breath. Afterwards I got up touched her lifeless hand as a tear ran down my cheek. I joined my brother as we sat down and talked. We talked and had dumb conversations to take our minds off of things. It really helped me. While we talked something popped into my head. It was how much he meant to me. He's always there for me and he always tries to make me happy. I appreciate him and the rest of my family so much, and this event showed me this. I was never closer to my family before this because I was always with my grandparents. I watched my grandmother's old friends pass by me crying, after seeing her in her casket. I vowed to never turn my back on my family no matter what.
After this we waited until everyone left and we loaded the flowers into a car. Afterwards we closed the casket and that was the last time I saw my grandmother. My brother, cousins, and I carried the casket to the hearse as I feel a strange feeling of déjà vu. Obviously from the passing of my grandfather only a month before. It was so similar, the coffins, the location, everything felt the same. Obviously all of it wasn’t, but it felt like it was. This feeling made me sick, I no longer wanted to watch yet another burial, but I knew I had to be there. After the casket was placed in the hearse, I went to the car with my family. All of the sad faces and bad vibes filled the car as we were driving to the cemetery. When we arrived it was oddly silent, no crying, no talking, just silence.
We arrived at cemetery and carried the casket to the spot where she would be buried. Everyone was upset, but no crying, no talking, still silence. I asked my mother why nobody cried. I could hear crickets chirping, and could smell the grass and flowers, from all around.
She explained, “We knew she wouldn't last much longer, the cancer spread everywhere in her body. We've already cried so much because of it, she's finally relieved from her pain.”
“Why didn't anyone tell me?” I questioned.
She proclaimed, “You had so much hope, we didn't want to make you feel upset.”
As I began to cry because of the fact that her fate had been sealed for weeks I uttered, “oh” and the conversation died. Her face looked so disappointed because of these secrets. She knew she shouldn’t have lied, but it was only to protect me. Once again the choir member recited a prayer and we put roses on the casket. Once again this feeling of déjà vu filled me, but this time my grandmother didn't put the last one on the coffin because she was on the other side of the casket. I watched as everyone placed their rose and as the casket was lowered into the grave. I sat and memories of my happy grandparents filled my mind. All of our moments at their shore house, all of the times I went to their house after school, everything came at my mind at once. This killed me inside and for a moment, I hated everything. Nothing could make me feel better and it seemed like the world was falling apart.
The day wasn't over yet, I still had to go to the luncheon. It was terrible, a room full of upset people and all we did was eat. The silence strangely broke when we were there. We acted and bonded like a family again and it was amazing, but a chilling feeling still sat in the back of my mind. We all went home afterwards and I told my family that I loved them as I went upstairs to my room. I told them that I was going to bed, which was strange because of how early it still was, but I was exhausted from everything that I did earlier. I went to bed and after that day, my family and I slowly recovered over time.
This event had me very upset, crying multiple nights because of the misery of my missing grandparents. It wasn't just the loss of my individual grandparents, but how they died together. They died 27 days apart and I just couldn't handle all of this in that short of a span. These events, plus other terrible things that happened, all revolved around a three month period. They died, I got hit by a car, and this overall scarred me. felt dead inside and I almost even jeopardized my grades because of this. I stopped trying in school for about a month, but I finally gathered up the energy to do my work. Although it was such a traumatic experience, it shaped me into the person that I am today, and it will shape the person that I am in the future.
I realized that life would never be what it was and I would never see them, ever again. Although over time my family and I recovered from the loss,(never fully) there will always be that missing piece in my life. My mother occasionally still gets very upset, and New Years will never be the same for my family, but it is getting better. This event was horrible and I wish I could get my grandparents back, but it taught me something. It taught me that no matter what happens, real family is always there for each other. This brought my family much closer because we had to help each other out when we were down. I may have had to grow up a little quicker, but no one can live forever and it was just their time to go. I accept that now and I've learned from it to live your life to the fullest, no regrets. Every time I see a picture of them, it reminds me of how I should live, and I won’t fail.
I miss my grandparents more than anything, and itʼs been really hard lately. It’s not even just me that misses them, my mom made an Instagram post, and the caption was, “Daddy it’s been 1 year today and I can not feel you, I don’t know if you are here, I wish I could be with you and I could wipe away my tears. I am hurting all the time daddy, I miss you everyday. If only I could see that you really are okay. I hope heaven is beautiful daddy and you are with mommy up there. Until my time Is done, and oh when that day comes daddy, into your arms I’ll run… Love and miss you more than anyone knows, you’re little girl forever.” This really hit me hard, especially considering that she always puts on a smile and acts like she’s okay. It’s still crazy to think she wrote that four years ago.
Itʼs just crazy to think that itʼs been almost five years since I lost you guys and to see how much Iʼve grown since then. I wish you couldʼve watched me develop into a more responsible person, but you were taken away before you could. Today is my birthday, and itʼs so hard to know that I wonʼt be able to see you. Now Iʼm 15 and I still remember everything that you taught me and all of those memories that we had, whether they were down the shore or at your house. I still remember when we would have the entire family over the shore house and everyone was happy. Since youʼve been gone happiness is hard to come by, with not only me but my entire family. I really miss you guys and I will until we meet again. What Iʼve learned so far is that lifeʼs not a gift and it pushes me over more times than not. It gives me things
and then rips them away. So many things slowly killing me and itʼs more than
just the grandparents, but the constant losses in life. Life’s knocked me down time and time again. Iʼve prayed millions of time to no avail. Iʼve had more nights crying myself to sleep, than Iʼve had happy.
if all of the stories Iʼm told are true, then I wonʼt lose the only things that give me pure happiness. I say this and believe that God wouldnʼt do it, but the more things and people that I love, the more things that are taken. Nothing's the same after so many losses, but everyone will tell you that it gets better. It never does and thereʼs still nights where I lay awake thinking about everything that can go wrong in life, and the crazy part is that itʼs the things that I donʼt think about losing, are the things that I lose. Things that I canʼt imagine losing, are gone. My feelings drift away, never to come back. My emotions have been stretched so far that they will never go back to where they were. Innocent is the way that people describe children, but everyone rips it away as soon as they can. All of the stories told to me as a child were lies. Nothing is 100%, and thatʼs the only thing keeping me alive. The rush and the urge to prosper in life. They keep me going, keep me happy in the saddest of times. The only feeling I have is the urge to live.
This isn’t just a story about a loss, but a story of how I have and will overcome the struggles in my life. Nothing can hold me below success and I'm finding more happiness day by day, knowing that it will be ripped away, but this is not a fear of mine anymore. I have learned to live in the moment and love what there is to love. My family, my friends, and the amazing memories I make each day. Iʼve been happy lately and not because anyone told me that Iʼd be okay, but because after everything, Iʼve gotten up stronger than ever. The reason for life is not to live or die, it is everything in between, all the memories, the love, and especially the obstacles that allow me to evolve after countless hardships. I love you mom- mom and pop.