Loss and Grief and Everything in Between

I got to thinking about loss. I lost my Opa (Dutch for grandfather) just two weeks ago. He had been in and out of the hospital for two months for minor things. Those minor things were apparently not so minor. But now in the aftermath, I am heartbroken. I did get to say goodbye, but that’s never enough. Saying goodbye might lead to a sense of closure, but it’ll never repair that empty spot left in the heart. Does it ever close up?

So I’ve moved onto grief. I didn’t really get a chance to mourn right after he died as I was exploring the wonderfulness that is Eastern Europe, but I didn’t forget to raise a toast to him and have a beer for him. Sure, the kind of beer I drink wouldn’t be his first choice, but it was symbolic nonetheless. I toasted to the perfect, diplomatic and loving Opa that he always was. I know that he loved me. And he knew that I loved him. But somehow, acknowledging that love just doesn’t seem like enough to move on. At least in this moment.

His obituary came out a few days ago and I bawled my eyes out. It was wonderfully written and right on point. I know that he led an amazing life. He had the love of many, many people. He will never be forgotten. Maybe knowing that will help me to move on. I know that I have to. I know that I can. But it’s just a matter of time. I need time. I need to process the loss and then grieve and do everything else in between.

Here’s to you, Opa, Aart De Jong. May you rest in peace and watch over all of us. We love you.