By Josh Leffler Josh Leffler lives in Chapel Hill and is in sixth grade. He's a big fan of Apple and other technology. His favorite book series is Harry Potter, and his favorite food is sushi. He also loves chocolate.

Part of Growing Up

By Josh Leffler Posted January 31, 2013 at 10:09 am

I’m 11. Probably, if you’re reading this, you already know that. You also probably know that my age is a big time for change – not just for me, personally, but the things around me.  I just experienced a change that we knew would happen someday for the last few years. I lost someone I loved – my grandmother, Charlotte Palmer.

Over the past few months, I had been told that her condition was worsening. The thing was, I was only ten (and then recently, 11). Therefore, while I understood that she was very, very sick and would not get well, I didn’t know what it was like to lose someone you loved, so I asked lots of questions, but as I know now, there is no answer to help you understand in advance.  No one can answer “How will I feel?”.  My mother teases me that I like to understand everything so I can feel in control and I guess I thought learning about the difference between an ICU and a regular hospital room would tell me something that would help me understand.  I also asked a lot about the traditions that our family would follow when she died but a road map doesn’t really tell you what you’ll see on the way. 

But no one can prepare you for what you’ll feel.  At least no one could prepare me.  I feel like I’ve just grown up by 20 years. I feel immensely sad that the person who shared my love of dessert and many other things and whom I knew as Grandma Charlotte is no longer with us. 

But my dad must feel worse. After all, being her oldest kid, he shared a unique connection with her. Sure, he keeps a neutral face on all the time – but I’ll bet that it’s to protect others from the immense amount of grief he must be feeling right now (that highlights a part of why he’s such a great person).

And my mom? She’s the daughter-in-law, so what is she feeling? Interesting question, and I don’t know the answer. My guess is that she’s in between my dad and me, though it could be that I’m between my mom and my dad. She has this odd job of supporting us while sad, plus her normal duties as a mom. She does a very good job of it (which highlights a part of why she’s a great person).

But the best cure that I’ve found? Keep on going with your normal life, and, at random times during the day, you’ll forget about it temporarily.

Have you ever lost a loved one? What was your connection to them? As part of your religion and family, what did you do to honor them? Let me know that and more in the comments below.

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