This I Believe

Gabby - Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Entered on May 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death, family

I believe in saying goodbye. I believe that it is important to have closure in one’s life. I believe that a proper goodbye can relieve a lifelong burden. And I believe that neglecting to say one simple word can lead to a lifetime of sadness.

Every day after attending Woodward Elementary school my mom would drop me off at Grammy’s house for an afternoon of baking, homework help, board games, and book readings. Her house always smelled of some kind of marvelous treat as I burst through the door with a radiant smile to be greeted by the most inviting woman in the world. My grandmother. No matter how her day went, she would always throw on a smile for her littlest grandchild. As a six year old I never fully appreciated those afternoons, but eleven years later I look back on those days as my fondest childhood memories. Grammy was my grandmother, my second mom, my friend, my tutor, my cook, and my home.

When she got checking into the intensive care program, my visits became few and far between. I was afraid to see her because of my cousin’s foreboding words, “She doesn’t look like herself, its scary.” My mom required me to go visit Grammy once. She understood my fear but persuaded me to make a visit. She told me it would mean a lot to my Grandmother. As we entered the intensive care center, the nurses warned me not to cry. I put on my Pepto Bismal pink hospital gown, latex gloves and paper mask, but my feet became glued to the floor. In any other circumstance I would have been giggling and fooling around in my goofy looking outfit, but, I was petrified. I stood in that hallway for fifteen minutes, not moving, just staring at the door. When I finally worked up the confidence to enter the room and saw my lifeless grandmother fully reclined in her bed, I took two steps back. When I heard a raspy, technologically enhanced voice, which can only be described as that which a robot would have, the tears began to cluster behind my eyes.

That was the last memory I have of my grandmother. Although at the time I was unhappy with my mother for making me go, I am so thankful she forced me into that hospital because within the next few weeks my grandmother passed away.

The decision I made to attend her funeral is a mistake I quite frequently regret. I sat at home with my cousins and waited for the adults to get back. Everyone else in my family attended the services, but I did not. I don’t think I can portray in words how terrible a feeling it is to look back and wish I had said goodbye, to regret not visiting her everyday up until the day she passed. I believe that the most important thing in life is to let the ones you love know how much you care for them. I believe that saying goodbye to someone you love, although it is hard, is a necessity. I believe that no matter how hard it is to see someone suffering, it is harder to not see someone at all. This is what I believe.