Today marks the ninth Good Friday since my Gram’s passing. My daughter asked me, “How can it be Good Friday when Grammy died?” How can it be good that we lost her? How is there any good left in this day?
She took her last breath on the day that Jesus was said to take his. I did not realize the significance of this until the funeral director told me it was an honor for her to have died on Good Friday. I have never been religious, but she had been a Sunday School teacher. Religion had been important to her, so the meaning behind it all helps ease some of the sting.
Every year, I struggle with today. I cannot help but think back to the phone ringing in the early morning hours to pass the dreaded news. Your grandmother passed away. My eyes fill with tears as I remember. My heart aches for her. And then, I smile.
For seven solid years, grief stole life from me. Seven years that I will not get back to live. Seven years that are tinged with blackness. Seven years of being disconnected from the world, and from myself.
It has now been two years since the pain finally lifted. Two years since this day can come and I can feel at peace. I love my gram, and I will always miss her. I have moments of feeling sad and angry at the thought of life without her, but then I remember a funny story or her smile, and I am left feeling grateful.
As I think back to the life I lived, I often wonder what it was that kept me alive. What was it that kept me going? What helped me see through the darkness? What pushed me to be my best?
Every time, it circles back to her, and the lessons she taught me. Learning to be grateful is the best gift she ever gave me. It does not solve everything, but it helps keep hope alive. Her unconditional love kept the flame lit inside of me until I was able to learn to love myself.
Because of her, I understand how important one person can be to someone. I know that it only takes one person to make a difference. I know that a simple smile can brighten up someone’s bad day. I know that there is good in people. I know I can do anything I set my mind to.
Because of her, I know that love is real.
In her memory, I challenge you to be that one person to someone. Listen without judgment. Love without expectation. Take your light and help keep someone else’s lit. Kindness is free to give, but priceless to receive.
Kindness and love will keep her memory alive–it is what worked for me.