I miss you so, so much already. I’ve been crying tonight, playing back voicemails you left me, just to be able to hear your warm voice, with its soft Boston accent. I’ve tracked down all the pictures I could find of us together and gotten angry at myself for not taking more.
It’s been less than a week since I heard your voice for the very last time, but it feels unbearably long.
I know you would tell me not to cry, that you’re not in pain anymore and that you’ll see me again someday, but right now, I just want to be able to hug you one more time and breathe in your smell, the smell of home, of safety, of unconditional love.
I’m scared, Grandma. I know you would tell me to trust God and have faith, but I’m afraid that heaven isn’t real and that this really is the end. Or, worse yet, that eternity does exist, but that I’ll end up on the wrong side of the chasm, never to see you again. I can’t bear that thought. It haunts me.
I hope with all I am that heaven is real, that right now you are laughing with TiTi and Uncle Henry and all the other loved ones we have lost. I imagine you holding your very first great grandchild with love in your eyes, the baby I lost all those years ago.
I know I should be grateful for all the years we had, for the adventures, the wonderful memories. So many moments I’ll never forget. And I am, but I’m selfish, too. I wanted more. I wanted your little namesake, my daughter, to get to know you like I did. I wanted you to see her grow up. There’s so many things I wish I had known how to say, like you how much you mean to me, how much you’ve shaped who I am, and who I hope I’ll become. I know I tried to tell you, but my words were so inadequate in comparison to the enormity of how I feel.
The last words we said to each other on the phone are still echoing in my ears.
I said, “I love you, Grandma. I miss you. Talk to you soon.”
And you said, “I know you do, Toni. I love you very much, too. Goodbye and God bless you.”
I’m still saying the same thing, Grandma. With all the hope in my heart. I hope that this message gets passed on to you, but either way, I love you, I miss you, and I will talk to you soon, even if its just in my memories.