“The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but it can make the people left behind want to stop living…”
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
By far, the most emotional issue I have had to deal with to date is not suffering through depression but dealing with the loss of my dear Grandfather while suffering through a depression.
Today is a special day in my life because it is the 3 year anniversary of his passing. Now, I don’t want you to think that I am morbid. I feel like in just the last couple of months I have learned to handle and understand the situation in a much more positive way. Which is also, so much healthier.
I grew up in a Catholic family and attended Catholic grade school. I have received 5 of the 7 Holy Sacraments, but somewhere along the way of my life, I lost my religion, and somehow forgot to understand how to talk to God and pray. Today, I do not consider myself a religious person but instead a Christ follower, a Christian. I don’t want to turn this blog into a Christian blog, but I think it is important to understand how much my life has recently changed and it does involve the fact that I found, not my religion, but my faith in general. I have re-learned how to pray and I have learned to ask other people for help by praying for me. I find this to be very comforting. I don’t feel like this is being selfish in any way, for I would do the same for anyone who asked the same favor of me.
It’s kind of interesting and a bit ironic how it all came about too, finding my faith in Jesus again. My husband grew up not knowing God at all. He never knew how to go about praying and did not know the first thing about the stories of Jesus’ life. Within the last year he was influenced by a wonderful Christian man who answered a lot of questions my husband had about God. He never judged my husband for not knowing God, instead he showed him the way to peace and Jesus. Never once did my husband feel pressure to even attend church on Sunday, he just one day decided to attend when my children and I were out of town visiting family.
He fell in love with it and, eventually, it took several months, I decided to attend with him. I fell in love with it too. Now we are slowly learning again, or in his case, for the first time about Jesus and our Holy Father. I cannot explain the amount of peace I feel in my heart now that wasn’t there just a couple of months before. In fact, I am going through what should be the most stressful time in my professional career as a teacher and I am still truly at peace. I know that whatever happens, happens for a reason. Maybe a new door is opening up for me. I am willing to wait to find out too. I don’t have to know today what is in store for me tomorrow. I have this amazing faith that God will reveal His plan in His time.
One thing that has recently been revealed to me is that I feel deep down in my heart and soul that I am supposed to write this blog. I will do absolutely anything to make sure that other people who suffer from anxiety and depression will understand more about this disease, either to help themselves or their loved ones in any way they possibly can. I feel that this is now my true purpose in my life. I pray that in some way I can make a living doing this. The most important thing though, is that now I pray.
As far as losing my Grandpa 3 years ago today, it was the most difficult occurrence that has ever happened to me. But, like I said before, there is a certain peace I feel now, and it is providing me with an incredible amount of happiness and comfort. Thank God for this peace. I pray that all my loved ones who miss Grandpa as much as I do, and boy there are a lot of people out their who loved him so much, feel some of that peace as well.
In future blogs, of course, I will speak more of how much I have overcome my mental illness and the lessons I have learned, the theories I have tried, the medication I have taken. But today, I want to say a few more things about my Grandfather. Yes. I have grieved his loss and suffered through a serious depression at the same time, and sometimes it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. But, at this moment in my life, I am finally happier than I have been since I was running around bases on the softball field at 16 years of age. That was a really, really long time ago. It was also a really long time to be sick with very little relief.
Today, in honor of all my family and friends of my family who lost such a wonderful person in their lives, I want to honor the memory of my Grandpa Merlin. It is so hard to put in to words just exactly how I feel about him, and it is hard to explain exactly what made him so very special. But, he was the type of person who always made you feel special. He loved his family. He worked very hard everyday. He loved history and sports, especially baseball and KU basketball. I was so lucky to have had the chance to go to some of those events with him throughout my lifetime. Those were very special times. He also loved telling stories about the Cardinals and KU basketball. I remember sitting and just listening to him talk, story after story. I will never forget his eyes. He had the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen on any other person. He had a deep, deep baritone voice and one of my favorite sounds in the whole world was hearing him say, “Hi, Marji.” anytime I greeted him. I would do anything to be able to hear that sound just one more time.
I am positive that my whole family also has special memories of Grandpa. One time, a very long time ago, when I was just starting my new career as a teacher, I was sad and depressed and going through a difficult time. I feel like I was prematurely mourning his loss because I specifically remember thinking about him as I wrote this down in my journal. I found this writing again a little over a year ago when I was suffering through a tough depressive episode, and it was almost 16 years or so from the time I originally wrote it. I don’t know what made me write it then, but I feel that it was something very spiritual deep within my soul. It was dated January 24, 1999. I believe this explains everything perfectly about my beliefs now, especially since Grandpa is gone. It is the same for all of the loved ones I have lost as well. I find it to be extremely comforting. It deals both with my fear of death of my loved ones and my depression. I hope it may help others find some comfort as well. Here it is:
From now on, I’ll always be everywhere,
and everyone will be with me. I will not
give up just because it hurts to lose.
It’s better to cherish every living moment,
that way it will never leave you even when
they are gone. They’ll always be with me.
Every single one will be in my heart
with me forever. Even when I’m gone, I will
have them. I have lived so that I may love.
I will die so that I may live.
God bless all of you.
God bless the soul of M.B.M.