This I Believe

Kristi - Bainbridge Island, Washington
Entered on January 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death
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“Absence makes the heart grow founder.” Those six words when it hits a person’s close relationship can be like nothing on paper to some or everything to others. Even while, I’m only fourteen, I feel that quote describes me.

In November of 2006, I experienced one of the hardest lessons I have ever learned, “loss”. My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors weren’t sure what kind applied but the seriousness was evident. After a couple months, she was in so much pain that she couldn’t even open her eyes. They continued to give her drugs, just waiting for her to die. My mom flew down while she was still alive in the hospital and had to experience her mother dying. To make it worse, it was my mom’s birthday. (I guess you could say) Fortunately, she died a few days before thanksgiving rather than on my moms’ birthday. My whole family had to fly down to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving then drive 2 or 3 hours to get to grandma’s little town called Boston. We were welcomed with open arms by our grieving relatives and given food resembling what a Thanksgiving dinner could be made up from grandma’s refrigerator leftovers, but it just wasn’t the same.

Thanksgivings were never really celebrated with my grandmother. Her being from Pennsylvania and my family from Washington made it even harder. On top of that, my sister and I usually had homework to deal with. Thanksgivings at the Worley house usually consisted of my mom making the turkey, my dad slicing the turkey and watching football, and my sister and I doing homework or relaxing. Then my grandmother would call and we would chat until she talked to everyone of us. I loved my grandmother, as any grandchild should. However, I find now that I love her even more when I couldn’t just pick up the phone and call her. It’s pretty hard to get a number to reach the dead.

Loss is one of the hardest things to deal with and yet everyone deals with it sometime. While the experts say, “Grief is a healthy and necessary process” it doesn’t feel that way. If it is losing your favorite sweatshirt at the mall or losing your grandmother to cancer. Some act as if they know how to deal with loss when really they’re struggling just like the rest of us.

In June of 2007, my dad’s father died. Even though I had dealt with loss before it felt like I was mapping a completely new territory. Sadly, my grandpa died the same day my sister graduated from high school. That day I realized that every action shapes you into YOU. While losing both grandparents I loved, I had gained even stronger love for both of them. I find that cherishing the happy memories will make them always be a part of me. This is what I believe; I believe that loss is not something that is meant to hurt you but an emotion that you have to deal with and an emotion that shapes you into who you truly are.