The Repercussions of Bereavement

Emily Carpenter, Senior Staff Writer

When I was born, my grandmother offered to relieve herself of the responsibilities that she had acquired at work to take care of me. When I was five and prepared to go to preschool for the first time, I happily skipped down the driveway of my grandmother’s house, past her forest green Buick, stepping over the dried gumballs astray from their designated tree, and finally to the wooden porch of her home where she would be sitting in the same spot of her leather couch like she always did, awaiting my brother and I’s presence to fill her house with the feeling of comfort and youthfulness. I would open the storm door to the familiar smell of mothballs and Chloe perfume, her home’s trademark scent that filled my lungs with a sense of relief and compassion. The warmth that emitted from her kitchen while she cooked anything that my heart desired was incomparable to the warmth that overwhelmed my heart when she wished me a good morning. 


On most days when I went to her house in the morning before the bus picked my brother and I up at the end of her neighborhood’s gravelly cul de sac, she would brush my hair for what seemed like a little over half an hour, picking through every tangle and loop of my matted hair. I sat on the ground beside her feet and watched the news every single morning while she brushed my hair. To this day, I can remember the feeling of her nails running through my hair to check for any overlooked spots and the tingling feeling of her index fingernail creating a fissure in my scalp to create a perfectly symmetrical middle part. It is times like those that I wish to keep in my memory for eternity, and I dread the day when I forget the cozy, secure sensation that her aura brought me. 


I am weary of growing old and misremembering the stories that she carefully and thoughtfully brought to life. The same stories that she told over one hundred times but never ceased to fill my eyes with wonder and amazement. My eyes, which gleamed the same sea blue color as hers. Her eyes were the most genuine, sincere orbs to ever grace the Earth. When I was sad, they were filled with empathy. When I was happy, they were brimmed with elation and radiated the very quintessence of the sun. She was my sun, and her wisdom and knowledge to some may have seemed very little, but to me was perpetual. When she died, my eyes that I was told were unmistakably similar to hers were full of shock and unrelenting misery. I ached to see her eyes that were now closed forever just one more time so that I could see myself in her through the reflective blue that I had grown adoringly accustomed to. See all of the delight and fondness that they carried just once before they drifted off into eternal sleep. 


The sentiments that I hold with my grandmother are vast, and I will strive to honor her life by accumulating the knowledge that she bestowed onto me and utilizing it for the betterment of my being. Her life will be commemorated not only with fresh, lush flowers adorning her grave, but by relishing in the memories that I shared with her, relaying the same compassion onto others that I encounter.