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Tw: death
This is a blog about my life: the good, the bad, the grey. Today memories wrap themselves tightly around my mind, fogging my vision of the present. I grasp at a few of them but they disappear behind others who push urgently to the front of my mind like puppies wiggling for attention.
My grandmother passed away a week ago today. Three weeks from today, I will attend my first class at university.
These two events, past and present, collide in the chambers of my heart, scraping against each other like earth's plates along the San Andreas Fault. It's only a matter of time before one finds purchase and grinds its way over top of the other, toppling me under shockwaves so strong that they create aftershocks felt by those close to me.

Whenever someone I love dies, my thoughts turn to death as a whole: the deaths that came before this one and the traditions our society has created to help guide us through them.

Several of my family members hadn't seen my grandma in months or even years when they came to say goodbye to her on her deathbed. It never gets any easier to watch people get the call, to watch them realize that they should have spent more time with their loved one because now it's too late. And I understand how hard it is to balance work or school with immediate and extended family, but it breaks my heart that my grandma always found time to write notes to her family on every birthday, holiday and accomplishment in their life, but she was beyond touched when someone took the time to write back to her or drop in to visit.
I'm so grateful that I got to say goodbye to her on both of our terms because none of us knows when our time is up until it comes for us out of the darkness that exists even under the scorching afternoon sun.
One of my friends told me that he never says goodbye because it feels too final, but I always say goodbye because I know it might be the last time any of us sees each other.
I don't say, "See you later," because that's making a promise I might not be able to keep, and I don't believe in making empty promises. 
As I find myself embracing an increasingly spontaneous lifestyle, I'm committed to telling people I love them before it's too late, to randomly driving three hours to visit people I haven't seen in a year, to giving gifts not only on birthdays or Christmas but on the ninth of August or whenever they are least expected.

I keep juxtaposing my grandma's death with my departure for college‒the similarities, the differences. Both, I think, will take a harder toll on those left behind. My grandma was so selfless that she kept asking her family gathered around her deathbed if they were comfortable, but she was still honest enough to admit that she was going through a difficult time, a new experience. I can't understand her pain, but I can sympathize with her as I go through this smaller change in my life. I too worry not for myself, but for my family and friends who are going through this time together, but separately. A lot of people wanted to be there to see us off, but they won't make it there physically, might resort to a phone call or a letter to let us know how much they care, reassuring themselves that we're still ok. And we are.
Because in the end, we're both ok with leaving.

thanks for reading. i appreciate you so much! call your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you.




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