Dealing with Guilt

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By: Shea Harris

As I get older, I begin to lose more people in my life. I remember attending funerals at a young age, but the only thing that makes the memory stay is looking at pictures. I remember the dresses, socks and shoes I wore at the gravesite. I remember how cold or how hot it was. But the older I get, the tougher it is for me to remember. During the summer of 2012 and the fall of 2014, I lost two prominent women in my life: my grandmother and my great grandmother. I was fully aware of their condition during their last days, but I didn’t think their time would come to an end so fast. For each of their deaths, I remember exactly where I was when my mother broke the news to me.

The day my grandmother died, I kissed her that morning and said I’ll be back later. I said those words with such confidence thinking she’d hold on until I got back. That day I was working at the farmers market on Beatties Ford Road. It was a hot summer day and I was just wrapping up my shift. My phone rang in my pocket and I saw my mothers name flash across the screen. As soon as I picked up the phone and heard my mothers tone, I knew my grandmother was gone. I didn’t know what to feel, but I knew I wouldn’t hear her voice again. I knew I wouldn’t be able to spend time with her again. I knew I wouldn’t be able to see her again.

When my great grandmother died, I was about to watch a movie with my boyfriend at the time. I had a missed call from my mother late in the evening, but I didn’t think anything of it until I she answered the phone once I returned her call. As my mother said the words Grandma Boot is gone, I fell to my knees and cried out. I didn’t know what came over me. I was angry, upset and just pissed because I was headed home that weekend to spend time with her.  I pleaded to God during that entire week for her to hold on so that I could spend time with her.

As I think back on these tragic events, it hurts me to the core that my memory is fading. It’s getting more tough for me to remember the times we spent together, our inside jokes, the times I was fussed out and most importantly the way they looked at me when I walked in the room. This doesn’t just go for the two people I mentioned above, this goes for everyone who is no longer in my life. The fact that it’s getting tough for me to remember the sound of their voice, their laugh and their tone, I feel a bit guilty.

One thing is for sure, I’m not finding it difficult to remember the love they had for me or the love I have for them. It’s not easy facing the devastating truth that your loved ones aren’t coming back. I always feel guilty when I would forget little things about those who are no longer with me. I used to try to call them shortly after they passed, only to quickly remember they’re no longer here. As I continue this journey called life I make it my goal to live my life to the fullest and do everything in their honor. The memories may be slipping my mind, but the love that was shared is everlasting.

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