Four years ago, my strength was tested. It was a strength I had to find in myself that I didn’t know existed. I’ve channeled this strength time and time again over the years. It’s shaped who I am as a person, for better or for worse.
That being said, for about five years now I’ve thought about having to say my forever goodbye to the man who has had my heart since the day I was born, the most incredible man I know, my loving, generous, huge-hearted grandfather. This is a thought that I’ve never been able to bear. I can’t say goodbye to him, I just can’t.
This past January he turned 99. Amazing, right? I know. He was strong and healthy when I left back for school however now I’m home for the summer and I just know. He’s not nearly as strong as he was just a month ago, he has more “off” moments of spewing nonsense. I know he doesn’t have much longer.
A year ago, the mere thought of this would have me crying myself to sleep. But now I’m learning to accept this hard truth. I think he’ll last until after I leave in August, but not until I’m home in Christmas. That means when I say goodbye in a month, it’s going to have to be my forever goodbye. It breaks my heart in more pieces than I can count to, but I’m also strangely okay and I keep asking myself, “why?”
Part of it has to do with the fact that I know he’ll stop feeling guilty, will no longer be in pain, and he’ll be reunited with the forever love of his life, my grandma. Nonetheless, I also know that no way in hell would I be okay with accepting our forever goodbye if it wasn’t for this immense amount of strength I have required throughout my life. Given the experiences I’ve endured, have been opportunities for growing stronger. My life has given me these opportunities, however it was the strength that Gidu has instilled in me throughout my childhood that taught me to fight and take advantages of these chances to grow. Without him as my driving force to fight and find strength in the deepest part of my soul, I can whole-heartedly say I don’t think I’d be alive today.
I’m a new person today though than I was four years ago. I’m stronger, I’m confident, and I’m sure of myself. So even though I know in one month and whenever it is that he passes I’ll be torn to pieces-don’t talk to me for five days-not eating-not sleeping-not feeling-ball of numbness-hot fucking mess, I still know I’ll get through it. Without a doubt, losing him will be one of the hardest events I’ll ever have to endure in my entire life, but with the strength he has instilled in me thus far, I know I’ll come out stronger as ever. I love you, Gidu. More than you will ever know.