Last month my world was changed forever. My grandfather, one of my best friends, left this green Earth that we call home. As I sat at his funeral holding my mom’s hand watching my childhood with him flash before my eyes I did what everyone says they won’t do: I cried. I cried more tears that day than I ever have in my entire life and then, two weeks later I did it all over again. The thing is I don’t think you ever really completely come back from losing someone, I think that it is always going to be hard to live without them but each day gets easier, finding comfort in the fact that they are always guiding and watching over you.
I have found that the little things in life that remind me of my grandfather bring me immense joy, more than I could have ever imagined. A couple weeks ago I was walking around campus towards Old Main after a really long day full of lots of wins and a couple losses. I stopped to take a picture of the tower lit up super pretty, and when I looked down I was in the J section of a senior walk year. I decided just for kicks to see if “Keathley” was nearby, and two steps later I was standing on top of his name. “Robert F. Keathley” At that moment I wanted to smile, I wanted to cry, but all I did was just laugh. I stood there by myself in the dark and laughed at what a day it had been. I laughed at what I couple weeks I had had, and I laughed because not only was his name near the senior walk, but it also happened to be in front of one of the Agricultural buildings, completely fitting for my grandpa.
There have been other times since then that I feel his presence and security as I walk through my day. Just last week the weather was sunny and I woke up at 4:40 AM without the ability to go back to sleep so I sat and enjoyed the sunrise, knowing he was doing the same in heaven, and today when I almost got hit by a car on the sidewalk walking to my morning class, I looked up from my phone as the car passed just a foot from me and when it passed a boy was wearing an FFA shirt on the other side. An organization that my grandfather spent his life working to support.
Ways to Cope With a Loss:
1. Find the beauty in the little things that remind you of them and dwell on the positives, not the negatives.
Go each and every day step by step with them right on your shoulder. You pray for your loved ones that also lost the person that you did, and you call to check up on others that it might have hit harder than others. With the loss of a friend, family member, or acquaintance the way to cope is to unite in love.
2. Stay busy, you might even take up a hobby supporting the organization that helps a cause.
My grandfather passed from Pancreatic Cancer. I am already involved with the American Heart Association in honor of another family member and I fully intend on volunteering and participating in events benefitting the work and research of finding a cure for Pancreatic Cancer. The only thing worse than losing my grandpa is another person I love losing someone else to it too and feeling the same pain that I do.
3. Cry it out.
Honestly crying two weeks after the funeral was something that was long overdue. But I finally let it all out in my room by myself, in my safe place and ever since I have felt so so much better. You can turn anything in life into a pity party, but to deal with something you have to take it head on and figure out your plan of action. Mine was to cry, dry it up, and go on with the day and choose to remember the good things.
Throughout this past month and a half, there have been good days and there have been some bad, but the good outweigh the bad and that is how it should be. Cherish the people you have in your life right now, hug them and be all there with them when you spend time with them. As for me I will be living day by day and be ending them with four open face Ritz Crackers topped with some good ole peanut butter.
For more information about how you can help preserve Senior Walk for generations to come and enjoy it like I and so many others do please click the picture below!