Two years ago Friday we said goodbye to my Grandpa. He had been on hospice for several months before he died (if I remember correctly) which gave us time to prepare to say goodbye to him and spend some last quality time together. When I've lost other people, the ache of grief usually fades, and I'm able to look through old pictures and think of good memories without them being too painful. It still hasn't happened with my Grandpa yet.
I don't know if it's because I haven't sat with my grief enough, or not relived enough memories, or simply if not enough time has passed. Losing my Grandpa left a huge whole in my heart, and I haven't figured out yet what to do with it.
I miss my Papa's hands. I miss his stories. I miss his inappropriate jokes. I miss his larger than life-ness. I miss having someone who loved me so unconditionally. I miss the birthday cards. I miss the smell of his house and apartment. I miss his phone calls. I miss his laugh. I miss his hugs and forehead kisses. I miss fishing with him. I miss his love of all things sports related. I miss his weather reports. I miss his phone messages. I miss sharing updates with him. I miss how proud he was of me.
Missing him gets especially hard when I'm celebrating a new milestone or just when I have something fun I'd like to share with him. It's hard around the holidays when I would usually look forward to seeing him. I hate that I don't get to send him a Christmas card.
At the heart of all of this missing is a feeling of gratitude. I'm thankful I have so much to miss. I'm thankful my Papa was so present in my life and that we knew each other so well. It's a blessing to have someone who's absence you miss so much. Because it shows how big of a part of your life they were. I don't think I'll ever stop missing him, but hopefully the pain keeps making way for gratitude and happiness at all the memories I have of him.