The closer you are to someone, the harder it is to lose them. When I found out I had lost someone close to me, it was one of the hardest moments of my life.
"It's been a long day," I thought as I arrived home from work to my parents house after a double shift at my job, where I consoled upset customers over the wrongdoings of the company I work for. Stress enveloped me, mental exhaustion plagued me like a cloud of mosquitos that wont let up. The only thing I had to look forward to was Yuki, her excited yelps as she heard the front door open, caused me to let a smile loose from my pursed lips. Forgetting about the day, I picked her up and held her close, relishing in the constant companionship of man's best friend.
As I set her down I realized that the house was dark, most of the lights turned off by whoever had last left the house. I was alone, and thankful for it, as I would enjoy the prospect of time to myself to relax. I moved to the couch, ignoring the decorations that I had seen so many times before. My mothers careful placement of pictures, cabinets, chairs, vases and other decorations always gave me an unconscious feeling of calm and clarity. I felt at home, and slowly released the frustration that I had accrued over the day. As I turned on the TV, not really intending to watch it, I thought about how happy I was to have a home, and to just be home. Safe and sound.
While watching a show I wasn't paying attention to, and not really caring about whatever show was on, I felt a vibration in my pocket, alerting me to an incoming call. It was my sister Taryn, I hadn't talked to her in a week or two. I missed her and wanted to see her, it had been 8 months since I last saw her, and I was a little bitter that she got married and moved to Texas while I was living in Argentina. However, I pushed the "answer call" button and heard my sisters familiar high voice.
"Hey Ry!" she said.
"Hey Tar whats up?" I retorted.
"Oh nothin just called to see how you're doing. I haven't heard from you in a while," she replied.
We talked for a bit, and slowly as always, we slipped back into our old jokes, talking about life and our opinions on events within our family and without. It was good to catch up with her. I had forgotten how much I loved my sister. As we talked, I realized I was already forgetting my day, about each screaming customer that seemed to make it their first concern to put me down personally, or about the driver that cut me off on the drive home. All I wanted to do was exactly what I was doing. It was bliss, for the moment at least
While I explained to my sister the woes of my day, I heard the distinct sound of the garage door opening as metal grated on metal, signaling the arrival of one or both of my parents, yet after 10 more minutes of talking, neither my mother or father appeared. That thought was cut short as I heard the door leading to the garage open and close, and my mother rounded the corner. I instantly knew something was wrong
"Hold on a minute," I told my sister, “What's going on Mom?"
"Grandma Norma is gone." She replied.
"Gone like we cant find her, or gone as in she died?" was my response.
"She's gone gone." came the dreaded reply.
"Tar, grandma Norma died...I'm gonna have to call you back."
I didn't know what to say to my mother at that point, the look of shock and stress on her face combined with the felling of utter amazement in my mind made my senses slow, as I attempted, and failed miserably, to comprehend the news I had just received. Grandma is gone.
My comprehension of what was going on was further interrupted by my mothers explanation that, "Your father is very upset, he's been at Grandma's house all day trying to work things out with your uncle. When he comes in, just comfort him and don't ask any stupid questions, you know how he gets when you do that."
A few moments passed, as I resumed my attempts at fathoming what was going on, my father walked the same path into the house that my mother just trod. Without acknowledging either of us, he sat down at the kitchen table. I had no idea what to say to either of them, and no idea how to say it. Nothing any of us could have said would have helped in any way. Grandma was still gone.
My father then proceeded to explain what happened, my uncle had called to explain that he couldn't get ahold of grandma on her phone for most of the day, so he went over to see what was going on. Thats when he found her.
Grandma was gone, and it was self-inflicted.
I couldn’t believe it, the woman that I had been closest to throughout my childhood was no longer just on the other end of a telephone call. She had purposely cut that method of communication. Then the memories of times I had spent with her came flooding back, most relating to animals, I had inherited that passion from her. I remembered the times we went to the dinosaur museum, and eating at her favorite restaurant on the way, Chik-fil-a. Playing with her beloved dog, Pepper, and talking to her during the all the family parties. I instinctively picked my dog up and held her, almost as a tribute to my grandmothers memory.
That was it, I couldn't stand to sit there and hear the words my dad said hanging from the rafters in my brain. I needed something else to comfort me, so I went to my room to seek out something to help me, the Book of Mormon, and flipped to a story I knew well. Nephi, one of the writers of the book draws out the last words of his father, a great role model to his son, and tells of his death. Without focusing on the negative, Nephi rejoices in the blessings he has, and the accomplishments of his father. He focused on the positive as best as he could. I tried my best to do the same, but it would be a while before I could, so I resigned to try and sleep, maybe that would help me forget.
"It's been a long day," I thought, as my head hit the pillow, signaling the start of a sleepless night.