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This Little Hole in My Heart Called Grief

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My daughter when we visited my grandfather over a year and a half ago or so.

My daughter when we visited my grandfather over a year and a half ago or so.

May 22nd, 2017

Monday, May 22nd, 2017:

This Monday started just as any old Monday would. My mother was in town for quite a bit watching my daughter as my husband and I house hunted for our new home in another state. This Monday was the day she flew back to New Jersey after spending quite some time with us. She got home safely later on that evening and was so exhausted, she went to bed. She then received a call early that morning and shock hit her system. My grandfather had passed, que the little hole in her heart called grief.

May 23rd, 2017

It was the morning of Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017. My daughter tends to sleep late so although my inner clock told me to get up early for some reason, I looked at my phone and saw a text message from my cousin Frankie.

"I am sorry to hear about your Pop Pop" is what that message read.

I then turned my phone off, turned over to fall back asleep so I did not have to deal with the world. This is what I do when my anxiety hits bad, if my child is sleeping, so am I. I was still half asleep after reading that text so I did not fully process but something told me to shut my phone off and turn over.

Come a little later that morning, I hear my daughter in the monitor. I turn over, press my phone, and realize it was off. For some reason, I had no idea why it was off and I thought it was broken. I did not even remember earlier that morning. I turn the power button on, go in the kitchen and make my daughter breakfast and I get a phone call from my best friend saying her husband was around back of our apartment complex. He had come to check on me to make sure I was okay. My mother and husband had reached out to them to check on me.

At first I told him I was okay and sent him away. He wanted to make sure and I promised I was okay. Everything after that was a blur. I sat on my floor, looked at my message from my cousin Frankie, and called my mother. Clearly sobbing, she told me what had happened. I hung up the phone, hugged my daughter tight, and sobbed on my living room floor uncontrollably. Que the little hole in my heart called grief.

My Pop Pop and I almost two years before he passed.

My Pop Pop and I almost two years before he passed.

Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.

— Michaelangelo

May 23rd, 2017 Continued

The rest of that day is a blur from all the grief, shock, and hurt.

  • I called my husband to come home because I was so upset I could not adequately care for our daughter
  • I did not eat until dinner
  • I have the best uncle in the world who paid for me to come home for the service
  • I do remember suggesting I drive 24 hours with my daughter who just turned one years old all the way to New Jersey alone; and trying to leave the next morning
  • I dropped all doctors appointments and plans to get home as soon as possible

That is all I remember of that day and the days to follow were blurry as well. My daughter and I hopped on a plane and off we were to New Jersey. Que the little hole in my heart called grief.

The Day Of The Funeral

This was the hardest day to prepare for. We got there much earlier than the service started. I walked in, saw him laying there peacefully but I was not so peaceful. I cried but I was still in shock. Guests started to arrive and I held it together as best as I could. I tried to be strong, but strength was not on my side that day.

Then, it was the military flag folding ceremony as my Pop Pop is an Army veteran. I lost it. This is where I was no longer thinking of strength, but just letting it all out. Everything I had bottled up since I got to New Jersey. I let it all out after that ceremony concluded.

The guests were leaving and it was the family's private time to say goodbye. I took what was going to be my last look at his physical body and screamed. I screamed, "I don't want to leave him. I don't want to leave him here and go." I walked to the back of the room so other family members could say goodbye. I remember almost falling to the floor and I had to be sat in a chair. Leaving that funeral home was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.


The aftermath, the hurt I still feel today, over one year ago feels like it happened just yesterday.

I still have his phone number and contact information saved in my phone. Whenever I type someones name in my phone that had a "P" in it, his name comes up. We have pictures all around my house and in my daughters room.

Que that little hole in my heart called GRIEF.


These two

These two right here, my husband and daughter along with my parents, siblings, best friends, and immediate family and friends who turned into family are what keeps me going.

Although my grandfather is not physically here, I feel him around me almost weekly and even daily. My daughter and I are blessed to have such an amazing and Irish guardian angel.

© 2018 Dana Abbott