Tag Archives: loss

Tribute to my Grandmother

(My friends recommended I write about this since its been on my mind. February is a very difficult month for me. Since my grandma’s passing in 2016, this month has been hell. It doesn’t help that her birthday was in early February.)

On this day in 2016, I had to say goodbye to my grandma. I still remember seeing her alive for the last time, and it breaks my heart every time thinking about it, and it breaks my heart that the last thing that she said before I left to go pick up my sister was begging me to stay without using her words since she was too weak to speak. I promised her that I would see her tomorrow, but little did I know that would be her last day of life. Just two days earlier, we spoke on the phone and she told me she was getting a cold. The cold would eventually develop into pneumonia, which would claim her life. Perhaps I sensed something tragic was going to happen, because I told her that I loved her. I always loved my grandma, but I also had a hard time conveying affection back then so I rarely ever said I love you. I did a better job at showing it by surprising her with flowers and visiting her because I loved to see the joy on her face whenever I stopped by.

“I love you too” were the last words she said to me.

The day before she died, I planned to visit her, and I did get to visit her, I just didn’t think that she would have an oxygen mask on and be unable to speak anymore. She could barely move, she was in deep pain, and she kept pointing to the ceiling. She was ready to go, but none of us were ready to let her go even though it was her time.

One of the most agonizing things in life is watching someone you love dying and there is nothing you can do about it no matter how much you want to stop it. She was eighty-eight and lived a long life, and I knew her time would eventually come and I didn’t want her to feel anymore pain, but I also was not ready to say goodbye yet. I pleaded that somehow, someway, she would recover. I didn’t want to accept that she was already gone.

She passed away on February 13th, 2016 at 11:50pm, but we didn’t find out until the 14th after midnight. I was exhausted and planned on visiting her the next day, but then I overheard my mom break the news to my father that his mother, my grandmother, passed away. Instantly, my body shot up and we all rushed to her nursing home where the family surrounded her to say their final goodbyes and collect her belongings. Everything felt surreal. It was like a nightmare that I would eventually wake up from and she would still be there with a big smile on her face like she always had whenever her family members walked in. She would hug and kiss us and ask us “what’s new?” She would offer us everything she owns because she was always a giver, from her clothes to the food she had in her room. She would mistake me for one of my cousins because of her Alzheimer’s, but I didn’t mind because I knew she knew who I was by face. She would make me and my little sister laugh, and she would walk us to the elevator to escort us out even when she could not walk as much anymore.

When a loved one dies, acceptance does not come easy. Even through watching them wheel her body out her room in the nursing home, the funeral, and the burial, I refused to accept she was gone. For the first half of 2016, I would repress all the pain I felt from losing her. I attempted to distract myself from grieving by writing and painting, but I would still think of her in the back of my mind. I would hear her talking to me and even see her in front of me as if she was there. When I attempted to reach out for her, however, she disappeared.

I still remember that summer I worked in a movie theatre for a very brief time. One time I had a customer come up to me and ask me for water and the customer looked exactly like her. They even dressed like her and wore the hat she always wore. I gave the customer water and she walked away, then disappeared. It may have been a coincidence, but I came to a realization that I never made peace with her death.

When you love someone, two years, five years, and ten years will pass and you will still think about them from time to time. When they first pass, it’s like a hot bullet to the heart. As you mourn and go through the stages of grief, from not accepting it, to facing the pain of being reminded of them everywhere you go and living without them, to anger that they had to be taken away from you, to reaching the phases of acceptance and coping with life without them, you develop your own closure and find ways to feel close to them because no matter how close you were to someone and what your last words were to them, you never truly feel like you were ready to say goodbye to someone who you loved when they pass.

I have had some people tell me that everyone dies eventually, but to that I say that it doesn’t change the fact that when someone close to you dies, it causes you an immense amount of pain. I have also had people, such as my ex’s friends and other so-called friends of mine, say that losing a grandmother is not as tragic of a loss as a friend or closer family member such as a parent or sibling. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter how someone was connected to you or how long they were in your life, if they had a significance to you then you are entitled to grieve and no one should take that away from you because I spent enough time denying myself the chance to grieve. It did not fully hit me that she really was gone until February 2017, a whole year later, where I spent hours crying because I finally realized that my grandma only existed in my memory and photos now. I would never see, touch, or hear her again.

It has been two years, two years since she passed and I still see her in my dreams sometimes. I’ve seen her dressed luxuriously and smiling as though to tell me that she is fine, I have watched her die in my dreams again, and I have watched her come back to life in my dreams. I also am often reminded of her every now and then. I still have a hard time viewing pictures of her and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day other than buying candy for loved ones because it makes the mark since her passing. I still remember the feel of her holding my hand and rubbing it the last time I saw her before she died, and I still hear her voice from time to time.

I also still have many regrets that I have not come to terms with.

I regret not visiting her more often. I regret not speaking to her more often. I regret the times I rushed off the phone with her and how I would be eager to go home when visiting her after a while. I regret not being there for her more when she was sick, and not visiting her on her last birthday. I had work, but if I knew it was her last birthday ever, I would have made my way to see her as I had planned to. I loved and cared about my grandma deeply, but I was so wrapped in my own life I did not make enough time for her. She would look forward to seeing me, and I barely made my way to see her. Still, I could wind up going six months without visiting her, and she would still sit by her window waiting for me to come, then she would greet me outside her room with a look of excitement. She would express concern about me when she overheard about some of my relationships and when she found out I took night classes in college. Even if I was out of touch often as I got older, she still would care about me and be more and more excited to see me each time. If she heard me beating myself up over not seeing her more, she would probably hit me over the head. I have many regrets, but I am so glad I was blessed with a grandmother like her.

My grandmother made my childhood and shaped me into who I am today. She was a strong, selfless woman who moved here from the Philippines and made a life for herself. She gave birth to give kids and raised them all along with her grandkids and greatgrandkids. She would have get togethers in her house every year on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She would welcome any of her family, friends, and neighbors into her house. She would cook for everyone, she would give you things you never thought you needed, and she never let you leave her house hungry. She cared deeply about her family and did her best to try to stay connected with every one. She overcame so many obstacles in her lifetime and became strong and independent because of it. She was kind and gentle, but she also would not tolerate anyone messing with her or her family She was a beautiful person inside and out.

She was a fighter. She was a wolf.


The One That Got Away

Nothing this week went as expected. 

 It was supposed to be a week of parties and celebration. Yet somehow, everything went south so quickly. 

Being really sick, Arguments, a terrorist attack happening right near my job, and broken promises. 

My 22nd birthday was on Wednesday. I had planned to be taken out by my boyfriend and yesterday have a party. Wednesday itself was not a bad day. I went to work, then went out with my boyfriend. Except something blew out and now he is not my boyfriend anymore. 

I have experienced plenty of breakups and fallouts in my lifetime because I didn’t just lose a boyfriend, I lost a best friend too. Someone who knew more about me more than anyone else. Someone who I knew every side of. Or at least I thought I did, I didn’t expect that he would dump me on the day of my birthday party, just two days after my birthday and on one of the worst weeks I have had in a long time. 

I keep blaming myself. I keep thinking of what I could have done different so that he’d still be mine. I feel like I could have been a better girlfriend and that I overreacted too often to many things. I keep blaming myself for everything going wrong, simply because that’s what happens when you get left behind. 

Except I did change a lot for him. I did do everything I could for him. As cliche as it sounds, everything I did in the past year I did it for him. Everything I became and everything I did was all for him. 

And now he’s gone. 

Everyone always leaves me. I’ve lost most friends in 2017 than I can count on both hands, yet losing him stung the hardest because he was everything to me. I loved him harder than I had loved anyone else, and he taught me what being in love was really about. I still love him deeply. That’s why I can’t even trash talk him, because I care too much to do such. In just a year and four months we developed into a couple that overcame so much together. Things were far from perfect the past month, but I genuinely believed we could work through it. I knew things weren’t easy for him, so I kept doing my best to bear with him and stay by his side, knowing that he needed someone there. Even when we argued the other day, I stood by believing that he and I would get through it because that was us. We were always there for each other and always made it through the worst of times. I had considered leaving before, but put it aside because in my eyes he was always worth it. 

I’m still in love with him, and I still keep blaming myself. Even with my friends kind words when I went to my birthday party last night, which he dumped me before and I spent the whole night breaking into tears wishing he was there. It was supposed to be my night where everything finally came together

People may think I’m ridiculous for posting this, but I still am trying to figure out what happened and why it had to happen this way. I still keep trying to figure out how just a week ago he was at an Open Mic supporting me and now a week later he’s gone. I’m still mourning the loss of someone who meant more to me than any person I been with, someone who was there for me during my Worst, who supported me when I was hospitalized earlier this year, who would make his way to meet up with me the nights I get out of work late, who influenced me to change all my bad habits, who spent his last dollars on me and who saved up just to take me out just the other day, who would spend every weekend with me and take me to every party, who would hold me in the midst of breakdowns and talk me up whenever I put myself down, and who never judged me, who just two weeks ago promised he’d never leave me. 

He’s gone. He’s gone and even if he said it was goodbye I’m still doing my best to face the reality of it. Some would say he’s just a guy and not worth it, but he’s meant so much more to me. Dammit, he still does. 

But he’s gone. He’s gone and with every tear I shed and every pain in my chest I wish he was here, like he always was, to hold me and comfort me. 

I believed he was the one, but he’s the one that got away…

To A Special Someone 

Dear XXXX,
Are you happy?

You get to prance around with your girl, unaffected by the long-lasting impact what you did has caused me.

You were the first, and so far only guy I loved. The word “fuck buddies” used to leave a bad taste in my mouth when describing you to people because in my eyes you were so much more, and yet now it’s all I tell people we were because it’s easier than telling people how it felt to kiss you under the stars or how much I smiled whenever you texted me.

At one point or the other, the roles were switched and it was you that swore you had a thing for me. Maybe that was true, but my attention was elsewhere. All I know is that summer of 2014 I had suddenly took a liking for you. Was it the way you called me beautiful, or the way you kissed me in the rain by the Hudson River? Either way, I fell and fell hard for you. I would come to realize any old boy can call you beautiful or persuade you he want to be with you but I was eighteen and did not know any better.

I think about your eyes, your little smirk, your soft lips and oh god do I wish to rewind to that lovely summer and fall nearly two years ago and relive it all. I don’t even regret a single moment with you despite all the despair it came with.

“He’s just a dumb boy.” To me you were so much more. You were my reason to wake up every morning. You were the smile on my face and the beat of my heart. You were distinctive to any other guy I have met so far in my life. You were my friend, you were loyal and you would care enough to talk to me every day for months and months and get lowkey jealous when you saw me close with someone else. You did perhaps feel something too, or maybe it is just my perception that is blinded by love for you that is romanticizing even the littlest of things you did for me.

You were always the tears I shed for you each night. You were the influence of the darkest days of my life and the reason why I felt my heart shatter for the first time. You were the dark cloud that stayed over my head as I attempted to down those pills. You were the bruises on my wrists as I subjected to my harmful desires for the first time in a long time.

You were the first to present to me the cruelty of the real world. The people who betray you, who stomp all over your heart once they have it, those who see a vulnerable young person and use them to their advantage.

I gave you my body, my time, my love. When you finished with me, you ran off to her arms and left me with nothing but dead hope of me ever being able to call myself yours and with memories I wanted to force out my mind.

“My feelings are long gone.” Images of you and her. Facebook blocking. All of this while my mind lingered on you and only you and the wounds were still fresh. I briefly found comfort in the arms of another but you were still burned in the darkest depths of my mind.

You still are or else I wouldn’t be writing of you on a Thursday night with tears in my eyes of every embrace, kiss and painful exchange of words we shared in my head.

Not a day goes by where I don’t think of you. Even if I have given up hopes long ago of rekindling whatever it was we were and even if I have gained interest in other people since then, I will never forget you. Over a year has passed and I still remember your dark eyes, your cheeks I loved pinching so much, your soft body, the way you loved dark colors, your love for anime & gaming, your introverted nature, your dark sense of humor, how you seldom spoke with emotion, your perverted attitude equivalent to my own, your beautiful smile, how special you made me feel.

My god, how I wish I could go back in time and do it all again. Be stupidly in love without saying it and have that perception of you again. It wasn’t you, but yet it made me happier than I have ever been in my life.

But I can’t, it was not meant to be and as you said, your feelings are long gone. You refused me a chance because you were not seeking commitment yet you have a chance to someone else when you were done with whatever you wanted with me.

For the earliest parts of 2015, and even now, I sometimes wonder if I cross your mind. If you think of my face or pass by a place where we made memories and miss me too. If it pains you to say my name and if you wish to run into my arms again. I wonder if you long to tell me all your troubles and hardships you face as I do with you.

Have I impacted your life as you had mine?

Probably not. Probably just some stupid little overly attached vulnerable girl you fucked and nothing more. You have someone now to call your own while I’m left with the scars of what you have done to me. It is easy for you to love again while I can barely let anyone in without pushing them away regardless of how I feel about them out of fear of history repeating itself.

You don’t care about that because you got what you wanted from me. You don’t care about how I can no longer be with someone without questioning their every motive nor about how someone could grow attached easily than others and how every moment we shared was more intimate and romantic than any moment I shared with any other guy so far.

I question how can I love again? Will I ever be able to or will I always be reminded of you whenever I do so much as even get close to a guy? Will I stop pushing people away and learn to trust again? Will these memories and your face forever haunt me?

Will I ever stop caring so much about you even if you are no longer a part of my life?

Clearly not, as I still write about you after so much time has passed since we last shared an intimate moment together and I still remember you so well and since you have impacted so much the scars still show whenever I have a new chance at happiness with someone else.

And even if I was too full of shame to admit it and you don’t ever deserve to hear it, whenever someone talks of the first time I ever really loved I will think of you.
-Lisa M.


The Death of Melanie Valentine 

Her blonde hair reached her shoulders and her bangs always covered her face. She was faceless aside from her dark red lips and tear-stained cheeks. She was obsessed with light floral dresses. In the cold weather her knees would be red and covered in bumps, yet she was numb to it. She craved the pain. “Melanie deserves it.” Says her older sister, Lexie. Her only sibling. Her sister despised Melanie since she was always stealing away the attention in the household.

“Melanie just takes up space.” Says her mother. Her mother despised Melanie for always creating unnecessary problems. Maybe at one point she loved her daughter, but the moment her daughter began keeping everyone awake with her sobbing at night and robbing money from the family with her need for therapy, she despised her existence. She truly believed it was all in her head. 

“She needs reassurance 24/7. It is quite an inconvenience.” Says her boyfriend, Brian. Brian loved Melanie’s vulnerability. The moment he realized that getting under Melanie’s skirt meant dealing with her poor mental state, however, he began to find his satisfaction elsewhere.

“She is always doing things for attention. When she is not the main concern of anyone, she makes sure she is.” Says her best friend, Isabelle. Melanie was once Isabelle’s shoulder to cry on. When Isabelle was finally cheered up, she refused to let Melanie’s depression rub off on her. 

“She nearly passed away from blood loss last week after she slashed her wrists. It’s a damn shame she didn’t, it might save us the service of having to put up with her.” Says Justin, Melanie’s ex-boyfriend. He was a narcissist that dumped Melanie once he decided that he could not put up with Melanie constantly crying for help anymore.  

The sleeves of Melanie’s dress always covered her wrists and the skirt covered her thighs, both of which were covered in cuts. 

“She does it for attention.” Says Lexie.

“She just wants everyone to pity her as if she has any real problems.” Says her mother.

“Ugly.” Says Brian, his eyes not leaving his phone.

“I noticed the cuts on her wrist. I don’t ask where they are from though because I know that’s just why she does it. She wants people to pretend to care about her.” Says Isabelle.

“If she is really that miserable, she should just dig the knife deep and finish the job.” Says Justin.

The day came where Melanie did just that. 

There was no warning or note. Melanie had been hoping for someone to take her warnings seriously and yet no one did so. 

Melanie, exhausted with trying to reach out to people and fed up with feeling agony and selfish for seeking help from those she had helped out with for many years, allowed the knife to dig into her wrists until the handle touched her skin.

“I deserve it.” Her last thoughts were. “Everyone hates me. I deserve it.”

Melanie was found the next morning, her lifeless body near cold and her pale pink dress stained with blood. 

“My baby!” Cried out Melanie’s mother, the first one to spot her daughter’s corpse.

 Days passed and everyone discovered of Melanie’s passing.

“She did it for attention.” Muttered Lexie bitterly. When she attended the funeral, she was thrown out the church due to the commotion she caused while delivering a speech of how her sister deserved to die because she was a nuisance. Her breath reeked of alcohol. 

Justin did not attend the funeral. When he scrolled past the news on his Facebook, he just smirked and said, “Looks like she did us all a favor.” Then he moved on about his day.

Her mom did not leave her daughters side from the wake to the funeral. “My baby.” She kept crying out. “I should have been there for you.” She screamed through her sobs as she reminisced Melanie listening to her complain about the abuse she received from Lexie’s father. “I was so selfish. Why didn’t I listen? Why didn’t I help you?” Melanie’s aunts had to drag away her mother from the grave because she attempted to jump in with her daughter’s coffin.

Brian was at work when he heard of his girlfriend’s death. He dropped his phone, which was his best friend, the moment he saw “R.I.P. Melanie Valentine” on his News Feed. After work, he ran to the wake and barely missed it. He observed his girlfriend for the first time in a long time and took in her beauty. Her bangs were pushed out of her face and her face was no longer stained from tears. She laid in her coffin in her favorite pale blue floral dress, sleeves covering the gash from her stabbing herself. He remembered her wearing that dress the day he decided he wanted to be with her and they kissed for the first time. He grabbed her cold hand and cried. “I should have listened. I should have helped you. You tried to reach out to me, why didn’t I help you?”

Isabelle could not bear to go to her best friend’s funeral. Instead, she locked herself in her room and cried for days. Her family and friends tried to force her out, but nothing. She wallowed in her own guilt. “I’m sorry, Melanie. I should have listened when you told me you weren’t okay.”

The person that shocked everyone the most was Melanie’s father, Jonathan Valentine. No one, not even Melanie’s mother, had seen his face since months after Melanie was born. He flaked on them, forcing the mother to return to Lexi’s father’s abuse. 

At the wake, a strange man arrived in all black and a hat. At first, everyone whispered and questioned who he was. 

Until the mother said, “Jon?”

Jonathan took off his hat, causing everyone to gasp. Jonathan ignored them all and instead got on his knees near the casket. Despite barely knowing his daughter, tears streamed down his face and he kissed her cold cheek.

“Melanie.” He pushed out through his sobbing. “I’m sorry I didn’t get to know you better. You were such a beautiful young woman and you did not deserve to go like this. You did not deserve to believe that no one loves or cared about you. Not a day went by where I didn’t desire to meet you and be there for you. Daddy loves you very much, sweetheart. And I am here now.”

A figure arose from the casket at that moment. The figure was not visible to anyone yet it was huge and stood over everyone in the room. The figure had long blonde hair with the bangs down to the nose, red lips curled into a frown, and pale skin. The figure had on a pale pink dress with red stains. 

Though not audible, the figure uttered a few words before it disappeared:

“Where were you all when I was alive?”


The Wolf

Lisa Marie Wolf 

Her face remains implanted in my head. The oxygen mask, her gasps for air, her constant moans of pain. I remember the feel of her bony, wrinkly fingers in mine. I still recall the haunting look in her sleep-deprived eyes. This face, I think in the deep dark parts of my mind, is not how I want to remember her.
She was never a fragile woman. In her life, which spanned to nearly nine decades, she accomplished many things. She came from the Philippines and gave birth to five beautiful children. She overcame many hardships and developed into a strong and beautiful woman. Despite living a difficult life, she managed to be a selfless mother and grandmother. If you asked her for the world, she would give it to you. That was just the kind of woman she was. She helped everyone whenever they needed it. She was the glue that kept the family together by putting together family parties on the holidays as much as she could.
This is the woman I want to remember.
The woman who started it all. The woman who created and kept together a family of wolves. She was a leader. A strong, courageous woman who put everyone else before herself. The woman who would tear apart the whole house looking for a blanket until she found one just because you told her you were cold. The woman who would keep feeding you even if you weren’t hungry anymore. The woman who gave and gave because she genuinely wanted to and not because she had to. The woman who stayed strong for so many years.
She is a fighter. She is a wolf.
She loves her whole family with all her heart. She wants every one of her siblings, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to be happy. She is just generous like that. She always made sure everyone was enjoying themselves and will forever continue to make sure everyone is well-fed and taking care of themselves.
She is the splitting image of what everyone should be like. Kind, strong, dedicated, and hard-working.
No matter how frail or vulnerable she becomes, that is the woman we will remember her as.
The woman who is smiling that beautiful smile in her photos? That’s her.
She is a fighter. She is the leader in our family of wolves.