Recently, my grandmother–my last living grandparent–died.
And in the aftermath, I was telling someone “It’s different for me. I’ve spent my entire life losing people that I love.”
And that really got me thinking.
Because it’s true.
I have spent a lifetime losing people that I loved. Starting when I was 4, when I lost my Grandpa who was the light of my young life.
And maybe that rewired something in my brain. Maybe losing a pillar in my life that young–and continuing to lose people every couple years my entire childhood—fundamentally changed the way my brain works. Because it would explain a lot.
I never really thought about what my life would like past about 30. Because on some level, I never expected to be here. (Friends and family who know my penchant for getting myself into the most ridiculous life threatening situations will agree it is a miracle that I am)
I once had an entire conversation with my dear friends and college roommates because it genuinely blew my mind that they would want to keep in regular contact with me when I moved overseas for a year. We had several conversations that were them (very lovingly) telling me things like “Sarah, if you go to the ER you need to call us” or “Sarah when your family member develops cancer, you can’t tell us that and stop replying to calls because we will worry.”
Because for me–people will continually disappear from your life. It’s just—a thing. It happens.
I am well acquainted with my stages of grief and crisis mode because it’s happened so many times. I have had a plan for how to handle my parents deaths since I was a teenager. I don’t expect to always have people in life. Because it’s never been true.
I don’t say this to garner sympathy or because I want people to feel sorry for me. I have a blessed life. But I really think that maybe all of the ways that I approach life and relationships stem from this basic principle that I absorbed as a child. People will leave you. Nothing is permanent. And if that’s true–how do I unlearn that?