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The Lessons In a Sudden Goodbye

The Lessons In a Sudden Goodbye Jessica Niziolek

Last night I had a random thought. October 12, 2017, will mark the 11-year death of my late grandpa Jimmy. It’s strange how the night time is an automatic signal for the brain to become its own hamster wheel of thoughts. I remember how my grandpa used to talk daily, (he’d always call before the birds started their obnoxious chirping lol.) I remember one time in particular when he called me, and the first thing I heard was Frank Sentra blaring, and my grandpa “singing” in the background. I wish I could tell what song it was, but it was so loud that I couldn’t make out any of the words.

This went on for a few minutes until he got on the line and said, “Can you hear that? It’s Frank, old blue eyes.”

“Gramp, I said,  I think your entire apartment building can hear it. What are you doing anyway”?

“I am singing to you” He replied loudly.

My grandpa had a presence that made it hard for you not to notice him. And if you tried, he’d most likely break into a dance, and a tune no one would enjoy more than him. He was also stubborn as a mule. He loved his grandkids more than anything.We talked daily, about everything. Music, Politics, Sports. (He was a die-hard Boston Red Sox Fan.)

I was and, still am a die-hard New York Yankees Fan. And trust me, when I say He took every opportunity he saw to tell me about my poor choice in sports teams lol. They say that when you lose someone, no matter if it was planned or not that their exit from their life here on earth can change you. While I do believe that, I also believe that in the case of my grandpa’s death and how suddenly he left us that it can teach you multiple life lessons. And the one lesson that I have put into practice every single day since his death, is saying I love you.

Sadly, I can not recall if I said that to him before he died. He called my mom earlier that day, asking where I was ECT. The second most valuable lesson I have learned from his sudden passing is a two-parter. One: Time is precious, and it is extremely fleeting. You always think you have time, but in reality, the only time you do have is only the time in that moment, the here and now. And too often we don’t see the truth in this until it’s too late.

Two: Don’t jump to the conclusion that if a person leaves your life by dying suddenly that you’ll always have this unsettled business between you. You won’t. No matter what you believe when it comes to the afterlife, and God you’ll come to terms with that the fact that one day you’ll meet your loved one again, and you get whatever answers you need then and there. This took me a long time to grasp after grandpa died because I felt a lot of things could have been prevented if he paid attention more to the signs while he was still with us. I honestly felt abandon, deserted.

I was angry and heartbroken. There is nothing like having a great love in your life bring you such great pain. He was there one moment then suddenly just like that, he was gone. The first 5 years were a definite test for my heart and spirit to go through, but I got to the other side because I realized then that I’ll be able to ask him all I need to when I see him again.

Now, when I think of him, I imagine him looking down upon us. I know he along with my Great-grandma, Sadie (his mother.) Great grandpa, (his father.) Are watching over us, protecting us, laughing with us, and crying with us.  We miss you every single day Grandpa Jimmy, I hope I am making you proud while you’re watching from above.

Jessica Niziolek

Jessica is the founder of and writes for The Abler - a blog that deals with topics with far too much stigma, and not enough education or knowledge. She is an advocate for the disability community. Jessica is also a contributing writer for MEDIUM.COM. Lastly, she is a coffee and chocolate junkie who loves heavy metal and rock music.

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