They say that with time, grieving a lost loved one gets easier. I won’t lie, it doesn’t. That love and empty feeling in your heart doesn’t ever escape you. You just learn to bear it, embrace it and move through it. I lost my grandmother to cancer in 2012, and there isn’t a day that goes by where she doesn’t cross my mind. A memory, a hug, a laugh, a moment. She was our matriarch, and the one that held our family together. Holidays & birthdays are especially hard. She used to call me on my birthday every year and as soon as I answered she’d say “HAPPPY HAPPPPPPY” and just those two words would bring me so much joy. On Christmas, we would gather at my grandparents house. Gran would orchestrate everything, and keep everyone in check. Looking back, it’s like she was that last piece you put in the puzzle and without it... it just isn’t the same. The first year was the hardest, my anxiety and depression seemed inseparable. I was on the verge of mental breaks, multiple times. There was once, a couple months after she passed, around my birthday that I was crying on the floor, to the point or hyperventilation and I sweaaaar I saw her face on the ceiling. It could have very much been a hallucination, or it could have been her trying to comfort me the best she could, same way she did in life. Life just didn’t seem fair, and I couldn’t get over the hand that she was dealt.. even though she handled it with so much grace. I spent many nights sobbing, screaming even.. to God, to whoever could hear me trying to understand why her, why then. But with time, you sort of learn to just cope. For me, it’s important to let myself grieve. If I want to cry, I cry. No matter how long it’s been.... I owe it to myself to let me feel all these emotions and try to work through it. One tear at a time, One day at a time. I believe that people you love that have passed can give you signs, to show you they’re still here or still looking after you. I see her in my dreams sometimes, and it’s always her letting me know that she’s okay and its going to be okay. The first time I went to her grave after the funeral, which it took me about a year, there were white butterflies that kept flying by me. So now whenever I see white butterflies, I assume it’s her saying hi. & I know it sounds silly to some ppl, but it’s really about whatever it is that brings YOU comfort. I found that the death of my grandma, really bound my siblings and I closer together. We'll send things that remind us of her, or little memories that we find. Whenever I’m starting to feel down, I’ll text them and we just reminisce and rather me being super down about it... it becomes more of a joyful thing. There’s been times that my best friends have had to come save me from myself because I slump myself into a depression stemming from thinking about her. My dog reads so well into my emotions too, idk how but he can tell when I’m having a hard day. When I’m crying or upset, he’ll show me just an extra bit of love and care. So it’s an ongoing battle of consistent grief and learning to love a life without her in it. So although I may dislike this life without her so much more, I find solace in knowing she’s not in anymore pain and she’s living a better life than she did at the end of her physical one. She still loves me, love is eternal and I know she’s sending love from wherever she is... in any way she can & she’d want me to move on and try to be happy... even without her being here. You have to just keep fighting, a day at a time, work through your emotions & try to remain happy because you have to live for YOU. They’d want you to.