A Letter to Grandma, Four Years Later

Dear Grandma,

In what seems like a blink of an eye, it’s the end of 2016, and it’s been four years without you.

I missed writing to you last year, and I know you’d understand: without you, without Mom, it was a year in which everything was off. The world still seems off-balance, and I’ve realized that it may always feel that way.

I still feel your absence most profoundly at Christmas time – not only because it is when you died, but because my childhood was filled with so many fond memories of Christmas celebrations at your house. I drove past the house a few days ago, and it looked so empty to me, without your spirit lighting it up.

You’ve popped up in my dreams lately. Not only have you appeared, I’ve also had several dreams that took place in your house, with a cast of characters that come from my current life – people who never met you, never heard your jokes and shared in your laughter. Perhaps that is why I keep dreaming of you and of a house that no longer carries your spirit: it still seems impossible that you’ll never chat with me again, never send another card, never host another party, never visit another flea market.

I’ve carried on a few conversations with you in my head, and they inevitably lead back to the same question: “why do I have to live without you and without so many other people I’ve loved?” And I hear your voice saying, “But that is the way of things.” And while I know that to be true, I can’t help but wish that I could call you on the phone to talk about the joy and the difficulties of this life, the challenges, the adventures, and everything in between.

You were the wisest person I’ve ever known, Grandma. In my less proud moments, when I’m frustrated with the world and with the people in it, I try to think of your example – of forgiveness, of compassion, of acceptance. You were more than a grandmother – you were a true friend.

I miss you, so, so much.


Happy to take any comments!
  1. Mal says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandma. You share a special bond that even death cannot take…because yes, she does live on…in you, my wise friend. Hugs. ❤️