Personal / Travel

I Don’t Mourn His Death, I Celebrate His Life

Family, death, struggle, dealing with death, overcoming hardships

It’s been 3 days now since my grandfather passed away, yet it feels like a lifetime has gone by. The natural flow of time seems to have been disturbed by the demon “grief”, and yet there are some moments I don’t feel grief at all. I don’t think my mind has caught up with the knowledge that he is gone…That I will never see him again; never hug him, talk to him, get advice from him, eat his delicious food, or laugh at his jokes that sometimes only I understand. In fact there are moments I don’t feel like anything has happened at all. I just don’t understand… And yet I know it will eventually hit me. One day it will crash over me like a wave, but when that will happen, no one knows.

Everyone keeps telling me that we all process grief in our own ways, but I don’t seem to be processing anything at all…It still doesn’t feel real. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I’m 8,000 miles away from home, and so far away from the people and places that remind me of my Zayde. I’ve never been more sick for home and my family, but maybe the distance and separation is protecting me from feelings I’m not ready to deal with. I’m devastated to the point of breathlessness, but maybe, at this point, I can’t feel it as strongly because I can’t physically walk into my grandparents house to find it only occupied by one. It’s all so confusing, and I’m finding it difficult to simply figure out and come to terms with my own emotions.

I try not to think about his death, but it’s the only thing that has occupied my mind these past three days. I’m trying to keep busy in the hopes that it will help with the shock, but it only provides temporary relief to a cureless ailment. No matter how much I work, no matter how many people I surround myself with, I still feel a void and a sense of disbelief that is overwhelming. But I can’t cry much. That’s been the strangest part of all. I cried the first day, and I cried for a brief moment yesterday, but aside from those two instances the tears haven’t come willingly. I know they are there, trapped, waiting to be released, but they are being as stubborn as I am. Could it be that I’m stronger than I think, and my strength is getting me through this with minimal trauma? I don’t know. There is so much about this whole process that I just don’t know. But what I do know is that my Zayde wouldn’t want me to waste too many tears, and so I think of him and I laugh. I smile, I remember, I love, and  I laugh. I try not to mourn his death, but to, instead, celebrate his amazing life.

I know that instead of locking myself away and grieving my Zayde would want me to do anything and everything in my power to keep living life to the fullest. To keep having new adventures, learning new things, exploring, and loving to the best of my ability. In fact, the news of his death has brought a second wind to my life. Maybe it’s because I feel he can see everything I do now (not just what I would tell him), that I want to do more to make him proud. Or maybe it is because I know that his greatest wish for me is to succeed and be happy, and I want nothing more than to honor him by fulfilling it. Whatever the reason, everything I do now I do in honor of his memory. I will finish learning Hebrew, I will finish learning Arabic (or spend my life trying), I will learn French, and travel the world, and get my PhD, and learn guitar, and record songs, and so much more, writing down every story every step of the way. In fact, this blog will become my direct communication with him. A way for him to know everything that I am doing. A way for me to always be able to connect with him. That is my promise and final gift to him.

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Jasper comes home this weekend! I know if anyone can cheer me up it is my beautiful baby boy. I will have both of my boys with me this weekend, and, because I know my Zayde would want it, I will spend the time being happy.

I love you forever and always, Friend!

Until we meet again <3,

Jordana Simone


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