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Losing our elders is harder than I knew it would be


When I was in kindergarten, I came home from school one day crying hysterically. When my mom asked me what was wrong I said, "I don't want grandma to die." She responded, "You don't have to worry, grandma isn't going to die." I don't know what I had learned that day at school that made me afraid of losing my grandma, but the thought of losing her made me incredibly sad. My mom was right and thankfully I had 32 more years to spend with my grandma. Now, I as I had to make a dreaded phone call to say my last goodbye, I am reminded why I was so scared to lose my grandma. Just because someone has lived a long life, doesn't mean we will miss them any less when they are gone. In that final phone call, all I could really say was, "I love you grandma." I didn't have the words to tell her how grateful I am to ha ve so many memories with her and for how much she provided for me and my family. She taught me what true generosity means and I wouldn't be where I am today in life without her. The pandemic has made life for our elders so difficult. The months of isolation and loneliness took a big toll on my grandma, she missed her family so much. Today, my mom and my brother are making a 12 hour round trip to spend three hours with her before she goes to hospice. I wish I could be there, like we all were when my grandpa passed, and I have so many mixed emotions about where this pandemic has left us and what it has taken from us. Our elders are the connection to our past, the keepers of knowledge and tradition, and the loss is irreplaceable. In some ways, I feel like I've been preparing myself for the loss of my grandma since I was a small child. But now, here I am, totally unprepared to face the very real grief of losing her, of not being able to be there to see her, of not knowing when we can b e together to celebrate her life, and being 2,000 miles away from my family. This pandemic has taken so much from us, the loss of our elders is just so much harder than I knew it would be.

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