What Doesn’t Kill You Only Makes You Stronger

Kristyn - Orange Park, Florida
Entered on November 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death, family, love

When my grandfather died this past summer, it was the hardest time I’ve been through. My grandfather was like my best friend, always giving great advice and teaching me those memorable life lessons. I knew that if I ever needed him he would be there for me in a second. So needless to say, when he was gone I had no idea what I was going to do.

I still remember those two days like it was yesterday. Getting the call saying that he was in the hospital and the doctors didn’t think he was going to make it, still haunts me to this day. The drive to the hospital felt like it took years and when I finally got there I needed to find my family as soon as possible. I found my grandfather’s room and, to this day, that image of him has stuck in my head. That was the last way I wanted to see him, with tubes and wires hooked up to him.

The doctors told us that he had had a brain aneurism and he was now completely brain dead. They said they could operate but he would remain in a vegetative state forever. I knew my grandfather and I knew that he would not want to live his life on life support, so my family decided not to do the surgery and we would wait until my uncle got there to remove the life support. At that point I had so much running through my mind; what am I going to do? Who do I get advice from now? Then I realized that I never had the chance to say goodbye.

Driving to the hospital the second day was the worst because I knew it was the day that I would have to say goodbye to my grandfather. We got to the hospital and waited for my uncle to arrive in town. When he finally got there, my family and I just sat around my grandfather and told stories and jokes and of course talk about how stubborn he always was. Then the time came for us to take him off life support, which was the hardest moment of my life. I knew he was gone and that I would never be able to talk to him again, except in my prayers. The next week was all a blur, the viewing, the funeral, everything. I just wanted it all to be a bad dream.

Unfortunately, it was all real; my grandfather and best friend was gone. Now this is what I believe, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Losing a family member was the hardest thing I’ve been through. I know my grandfather is watching over me and he would want me to be happy. His death helped me grow stronger in my faith, my family, and my life. He will always remain in my heart and I now truly believe, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”