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Dear Grandad...

"There is something about losing your grandpa that is permanent and inexpressible - A wound that will never cannot heal" ~ Susan Wiggs

I want to start this letter to you off by apologising. I apologise for not being there with you during your final day here on earth. I was being completely selfish by not coming to see you, purely because I wanted some time for myself away from my brothers just to watch TV. If I could go back four and a half years ago and come to your house instead just so I could see you one last time, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Then again, I am kind of glad I chose to stay at home that day instead of coming to see you. I do not mean that in a nasty way, however when my brothers came back from seeing you they said that you did not look particularly well. In this way I am glad that I did not see you on your last day here on earth as even though my last memory of how you looked could be better, as least it is not one where you were looking your worst.

Those first few weeks (even months) of having to face up to life without you was pretty hard, I am not going to lie. You were one of the most important people in my life from the day I was born, yet to lose you after fourteen years was one of the toughest things I have ever had to go through. Every time I walked into your house I kept on expecting to either see you sat in the kitchen or sat in your chair in the living room. Except that you were not there. Those two places were either empty or someone else was sat where you used to sit. Having to see someone else sat in your chair was particularly difficult for me as it just did not feel right. I wanted to scream and shout at these people and tell them to get out of your chair, but I did not. Should I have done that? I do not know, but what I do know is that over the last four years I have managed to come to terms with the fact that other people can sit in your chair (plus, you should be pleased to know that I now sit at your place at the table - although how pleased you actually are about that I do not know).

The night that you died, as I looked outside when I was closing my curtains, I saw a star. I know you will say that this is really stupid, but I honestly reckon that that star was you. It was shining really brightly, directly opposite my window, and was the only star I could see. I genuinely think it was you looking down on me. I do not really believe in God or heaven, but I think in that moment I was looking for a bit of comfort, which was what that star provided me with. The other night there was another star that was shining really brightly opposite my back door, which I, again, think was you. I do like to think you are still alive somehow and that you were not just buried and that was the end of your life. That is why whenever I see a star that is shining really brightly, I think of you and know it is you looking down on me. The other day when I was cleaning the alleyway outside my work (yes I have a job now, which I 100% know you will be pleased with), a white feather randomly floated down and onto the floor. I also believe that was you. They say that if a white feather floats down from no where, it is a loved one whom you have lost telling you they are near you to keep you safe and protected and to tell you that they are safe and well. I believe that was you looking out for me and I wish I had kept that feather so that you could protect me always. That being said, I always managed to find a white feather somewhere; whether that is outside my bedroom or one that has just landed on the pavement while I am walking somewhere. I think this is a sign that you are always with me, no matter where I am or where I am going.

The last time I saw you was on New Years' Day 2015. I think one of my main memories of you from that day was you sitting on the sofa with your oxygen mask on as you struggled to breathe. That was really hard for me to watch. No one should ever have to go through what you did in that respect and seeing you so poorly for so long was really heartbreaking. Part of me feels grateful as for a lot of it I was too young to properly understand what was really going on; however now I just get annoyed because I still do not know why you were so ill, but do not want to ask anyone as I am scared of the answer.

The one thing I have in my head whenever I do something is that I hope I make you proud. Since you left us I have done my GCSEs, done way better than expected in my A-Levels, and I am about to go into my second year of university, where I am studying early childhood. I know you may have hoped that I had done something that involved agriculture, however I am doing something that I am passionate about, so I hope that makes you happy.

I have stopped doing netball, which I know you will be angry about as you always really enjoyed sports. Even though netball was not one of them (I know football and cricket were what you really loved), I know that you loved to see that I was doing some exercise and also loved to tease me whenever my team lost a match (which was a lot of the time). I know you will probably be disappointed with me for stopping my netball journey, however even though I still love the sport and really do miss playing it, it was affecting my academic performance and that is something that is of paramount importance to me, not running around on a court for over an hour getting really hot and sweaty.

Losing you was not easy, but I really hope that some day we are re-united. I really do miss you and I would give absolutely anything just to hear your voice again and to see you for one last time. I love and miss you more than anyone could possibly imagine and I hope that you are proud of me.

Love Beth xx

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