The Laugh Always Spotlight Edition features guest posts from members of the Laugh Always Ambassador Community. Laugh Always has been created to highlight those difficult journeys and to celebrate the badass people that live to share their journey. I welcome you to the second edition of the Laugh Always Spotlight!
I want to introduce you to Ariel. She is sharing a story about how the loss of a loved one has changed her view on life and what she has learned.
When I was younger, I never truly understood people dying. I always just thought that meant they left forever and I would never see them again. I did not have many family members pass away when I was younger. When my grandpa died in November of 2010 that is when I began to truly understand what death really meant. Before I tell you about what death means, let me back up and tell you about the events leading to his death.
In November of 2009, I decided that I wanted to take my first vacation. I could not decide where to go and then I remembered my grandparent lived in Florida for the winter. Something about going there just felt so right and my mind repeatedly kept telling me to go or I would regret it. I booked the trip and my mom decided she wanted to go with me. Once March came around, we both boarded the plane and after a few hours landed in Florida. I spent all of 13 days with my grandparents. My grandfather had Parkinson’s Disease and he was in the later stage of it. He was developing Dementia very bad rapidly, my grandparents fought a lot while I was there but I still enjoyed every minute of it.
When leaving Florida, I felt very accomplished and good after spending time with my grandparents. Since my grandparents were snow birds, they came back during the summer. My grandpa seemed to have got progressively worse since I was down there. I’ve always been close to him, as he was one of my only family members that truly supported everything I did. He taught me how to love people unconditionally and was always a constant in my life. He also taught my mother what a real dad was like and for that I am forever grateful for him in our lives. Once they were back, my grandma decided it was time to stay in Kansas City for awhile. In November of 2010 he fell for the last time.
My grandpa had Parkinson’s, which meant he had a hard time walking and controlling his movements. He fell a lot and hurt himself in the process. The last time he fell, he was taken to the hospital and put on life support. After a while, my grandma decided to take him off of life support. He thrives on his own and was ready to move into a regular room. On the transport up to the room, he stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating. He had died alone with no one by his side.
My grandpa in that instant taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I will never forget. For one, take the trip. I have put off so much in my life for various reasons, but he made me realize that life is too short to put things off. I am only 26, but I have a lot I would like to accomplish before I die. My grandpa taught me to travel the world and see things differently. Going different places always means different things to different people, for me it is a chance to discover and see things my eyes have never seen before. Traveling makes me thankful for my vision, my health and just for my life itself. My grandfather also taught me that life is meant to be lived. I do not take life for granted now, I live my life to the fullest that I can. I want my life to mean something and have very few to no regrets in life. My grandpa will forever be in my heart and I will forever be grateful for the chance to have someone as truly special as him in my life. The main lesson that I learned was that if you tell someone you are going to do something, you need to do it. Life is again too short to put things off, if you say you are going to visit them do it. You never know what will happen in a few minutes to a year from now. Live life to the fullest every chance you get and never look back on your past and think of what it could have been. Always look to the future and think of what it could be.
Death has taught me a lot of valuable lessons. Most importantly it has taught me to love people unconditionally. Life is too short to stay mad or hate someone for something they did. Humans are not perfect and life is unpredictable. Death for someone does not mean to stop living your life, they would hate that you did that. Loved ones who pass away want you to see and know that you are still living your life to the fullest capacity that you can. I liked to think my grandpa is watching over me each and every day. When I do something good, I like to think he would be proud of me as I did this. Although I would love to have him here, I know he is in a better place right now and is not suffering anymore. Life and death can teach you various lessons, but it is up to you to choose how to live out those lessons.
**My name is Ariel and I am the creator of Different Frame of Mind blog. My blog focuses on travels with little funds, medical and psychological disorders. I was born in Kansas but currently, reside in North Carolina. I am married and have two wonderful puppies.
I am a bucket list traveler and have plenty to still check off. I have been on a cruise, traveled to 34 different states, swam with the dolphins and so much more since 2010. Join me on my journey on one of the social media links below.
Please sound off in the comments below on what the loss of a loved one has taught you. I know that I am personally affected by death as well and you do learn a lot from various journeys. Thank you to Ariel for this beautiful guest post and I can’t wait to hear more from her in the future!