It all seemed to happen so quickly and was a shock to all of us. Besides one Facebook post, this is the first time I've been able to sit down and write about the experience.
I've been really lucky in my life. While I've experienced the death of great grandparents and people I know, this was my first experience with the death of someone I was close to. The hardest part for me has been the shock of talking with someone one day and them being gone the next. The whole idea is difficult for me and is taking some adjustment.
Granddaddy and I had many conversations in the weeks before his death, but one in particular stands out. I was visiting him in the hospital and, as usual, PhotoStasher came up. He looked right at me and said "You've worked so hard and put so much time into PhotoStasher, I hope it's really successful and all your hard work pays off". This was the first of several conversations we had that seemed kind of strange to me at the time. Each had a finality to it like he was giving me some final advice, sharing his hopes and dreams for my future, and wishing me well. After his passing, I realized he was making sure to say everything he needed to before he died.
In the days after his passing, the family was at my nana's house looking through photos to take to the funeral home. There were photos of my dad and his siblings growing up and many photos of granddaddy through the years. A few months earlier, my aunt and uncle put together a video to music for my grandparents' anniversary party. It does an amazing job of documenting their entire lives. This was also on repeat at the funeral home for everyone to watch. I cherish my copy of this video and can't wait to show it to my children one day so they can learn about their heritage and see family they never knew.
During this time of intense grief and trying to comprehend and accept what had happened, I found myself treasuring the photo memories that my nana had made sure to keep safe. I don't always like getting my picture taken, but this experience made me realize how important it is to document our lives so we can remember good times gone by and the people we love who have gone before us.
This whole experience has reaffirmed that I'm on the right path with PhotoStasher. Now more than ever, keeping photo memories safe is important to me. I've come to realize how precious photos are to preserving our history and that they are the only reminders I have to remember granddaddy. I can't imagine not having those boxes of photos to look through of my time with him and even his life before me. One thing I never realized until we started going through photos was how much my brother looks like him. This whole experience has made me even more encouraged about PhotoStasher and proud of what I'm doing. I know I'm making Granddaddy proud too.
The photo below is one of the photos I found at my Nana's house of Granddaddy and me looking through the window of the nursery after my brother Cameron was born.
Don't forget to tell your loved ones what they mean to you!
All the best,