02 July 2011

The Hardest Good-byes

The following prompt comes from the NaBloPoMo website:

What is the hardest good-bye you've ever had to do?

There are many good-byes that have been very hard for me, for their own different reasons, one not really "hardest", because they were all terribly hard. The loss of my babies is indescribable...

The one that I choose for this prompt is the death of my Granny Gunter on 25 March 2010. She was the last of my grandparents to die and the only one whose funeral I was not there for. I wanted to be there. I wanted to something awful. I wanted to be there to tell her good-bye. I wanted to be there to give her the hugs that I hadn't been able to give to her for the last 13 years of her life because of a lying little wench that caused us to have to move a thousand miles away to protect ourselves from danger (or so we thought...the danger came with us). Anyway, I never wanted any of my grandparents to die, of course, but when they did, I wanted to be there for them. I wanted them to know that I loved them with every ounce of me.

When my Papa Gunter died way back in the early 1980s, I wasn't with him when he died, but I was able to go to the funeral. I was with my family. I believe that I was in the tenth grade.

1992 When my Grandpa Spence died, I was in the room with him. It was awful. It was the first time I had witnessed someone die and I hope it will be the last...though I know it won't be. It was the scariest, most torturous thing that I had ever witnessed. Grandpa was consumed with cancer and was drowning in his bed as his lungs filled up with the fluids that the hospice workers were trying to drain from him. It took him, moaning, groaning, gurgling, struggling, right there in front of me. In that moment of sheer grief and fear, I heard the sweetest little voice saying "Bye-bye, Papa". It was the voice of my one year old daughter that I held in my hand, waving as he left this world into his eternal home.

1993 The death of my Grandma Spence has left me wracked with guilt. I should have been there for her. I was supposed to be with her. It was a Sunday morning and that was when I was supposed to be visiting her. I stayed up all night the night before doing laundry and yapping with the neighbor lady and was too tired to drive the forty-five miles back home to go see Grandma. Too tired. For my on grandma, stuck sitting in that blasted nursing home all along. Of all the things that I dislike about myself, I would have to say this is the thing that I hate myself the most for. I deserted her via a lack of priorities. I should have been there...she died alone because I wasn't. I know that she loved me, but I feel like I failed to show that love to her because I should have been there and wasn't.

And now Granny. I should have been there for her, too. I should have at least been able to be at the funeral even if I wasn't with her when she passed away. I should have been able to give her a last good-bye. I should have been able to take my turn sitting with her those last few weeks of her life as my sister and my cousins did. But, I was stuck out here a thousand miles away and no way to get back home to be with my family at such a crucial time. I let everybody down. I wrote a letter that the family read to Granny. My cousin told me that Granny smiled and loved me, too. She was happy to get my letter. They said that it helped her to let go of this world, like she was waiting to hear from me. I can't explain how that makes me feel...so many emotions wrapped around my grandparents, every one of them.

The loss of my father-in-law was a devastating loss for our family. I loved him dearly. We didn't realize how sick he was and all of a sudden he was gone, this man that I'd grown to love as a father. I already had a daddy and when I got married, I was blessed to have two and then so quickly he was gone from our lives. He has been gone twenty-four years now. Sometimes it seems like a hundred years ago and sometimes just like yesterday. The grief is still as strong as when it happened. There is a big gaping hole in my life where he should still be. I will always miss him.

Those were the hardest good-byes.


  1. I lost both my Grandpas in the same year not too long ago. I have lived far away from my family for several years and felt similarly to the way you felt upon losing your Grandparents. I firmly believe they can still hear me and think of them often. I also believe there is room for forgiveness from your Grandma and for yourself. It is a different time now and you are a different person. I hope you are able to find peace. Losing loved ones are definitely the most difficult goodbyes.

  2. Aww. HUGS!!!! I know how you feel.

  3. @Equipoise

    Thank you. I am so sorry that you lost yours, too, and also close together. It is hard to process one at a time and even harder, I think, when there are so many so close together. You're in my prayers.

    I know that my grandma and granny loved me and wouldn't hold this against me and that Heavenly Father forgives me. I just can't seem to forgive myself. They meant (and still do) the world to me and I feel like I deserted them. I'll get there, though. Once I get to Heaven and am with them again, everything will be just fine again. :)

    Thank you so much for commenting here. Have a great evening!

  4. @Kiana

    Thank you, Kiana. {{{hugs}}} to you. I am sorry that you've been through this, too.

    One day, there will be no more tears for us, only a happy reunion.

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Have a great evening!


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