»

My New Normal: Coping with the Grief of My Grandmother’s Death

Leave a Comment
10599625_10100366482428526_2817677165145290596_n copy

My Christmas Angel, forever in my heart.

As some of you may have noticed these past 3 weeks, the RYV! blog has been off schedule with new postings.

The reason for that was due to my Grandmother, “Big V,” encountering an unexpected health crisis, and I am sad to report that she passed on Christmas Eve night.  Big V was 86 years old.  

These past 3 weeks have been incredibly emotional – none of us thought that she was near the end of her life, and I still wake up in shock to her not being here.  

I have written about Big V on the blog, with the most recent post published in November about the health changes she endured in 2015.  My Grandma was a fighter until the end, spending 9 days in the hospice house until she went to be with the Lord on that fateful day.  

With the new year arriving, and the new normal of life settling in, 2016 will be a dual year for me:  a year of firsts without my Grandma, and a transitional year where I begin to make plans for my own life.  I lived at home with Big V solely to be with her in case something like what took place mid-December occurred.  I find great solace that I was here to be with her and chat with her during her final days.  In a sense, her death was a freeing moment for the both of us:  she is now free from sickness and Alzheimer’s, and I am now free to live my life.  I have begun the process of figuring out where I would like to move, which is Charlotte, NC, and how to go about that in the best manner that will put me ahead.  

I knew that this day would come, and I am very surprised at how I am coping with my grief and the reality of things.  I have my good days and bad; small things can trigger me into tears while others can cause me to smile.  For me, I view grief as a wave, the highs and lows are unpredictable but they are necessary for the process.  I know that the pain and struggles I have now are the rawest moments during the journey, but they will lose their grip as time goes on.  

One of the things I realized is that people do not know what to say to you when you experience a loss; some say inappropriate things that tick you off while some seem shocked when you say that you are having a good day.  Everyone grieves differently, and for me, I have grieved my Grandma’s health status for over 7 years, as she underwent changes with Alzheimer’s.  Her death was the final change on that journey, and it closed a very emotional chapter in my life.  

To keep from spiraling into the depths of grief, I am very adamant about my self-care and self-perseveration.  I am going to journal more, and reach out to those in my support system to help me along this path.  I will live in the emotions that consume me, cry my tears, wipe them away, and keep moving forward.  That is my mindset when it comes to this:  acknowledge the pain, and move forward when the wave calms down.  

At this time, I ask my readers to be supportive of me during this year.  And if you are a person of faith, keep me in your prayers.  

The new year has some incredibly rewarding and challenging situations for me to experience – I know that I am equip for whatever battles that lies ahead.   

About Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization she created to establish herself as a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate. Ramp Your Voice! is a prime example of how macro-minded Vilissa truly is, and her determination to leave a giant "tire track mark" on the world.

Leave a Reply