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My attempt to find the true lesson behind his passing

Sometimes, you just have to think real hard. Put all the pain aside and find the purpose behind the death of your loved one. Each death has a reason, you just have to dig real deep and find it.

Whether you have lost a parent, sibling or friend, you’ll find yourself fighting. Being upset that you couldn’t do something to prevent the death. I was mad at God, mad at myself for not spending more time with him or not noticing that he was losing weight. He was my best friend and now he’s gone. Why couldn’t I have prevented this?

The truth is, that we have no control over death, not ours or others. When we are brought into this world, the day we die has already been planned. Only the Man above knows when, why and where. All we have to do is pray that is doesn’t come too soon.

This is the story of losing my grandfather, (papa) who I loved very much, still do. He is now gone and in Heaven. This is the story of me finding the purpose behind his death. I believe each death has a greater purpose behind it. I believe his death has a bigger purpose than just making us mourn and miss him. I believe his death was to teach us a lesson. I believe his death was meant to teach us greatness.

“You can love someone so much … But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.” ― John Green

Next month makes two years since my grandfather’s passing on Oct. 12.

My papa, Steven Victorino, was full of love and compassion. Of course, he had his flaws, but he always had his little girls’ back.

When he got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in the spring of 2013, we knew his time with us was short, but six months short was not what we were expecting.

I always planned to have him walk me down the aisle on my wedding day, create memories with his great-grandchildren something he’ll never get to do.

Now, I’m not a expert on death. Nor, have I experienced it enough to say I understand every angle toward it. But I can say that his passing left me feeling like a part of me was missing. And two years later, I still do. These future intentions were crushed the day he died.

The morning of Oct. 12, 2013, my grandmother called me and said I better call in to work, because this very well may be papa’s last day. My heart sank. I knew this day was coming, but never could imagined it actually being here.

When I arrived at the house, you could feel the air being sucked out of it. There was mourning and death among us. I went to say goodbye, a word my papa liked to avoid. He hated tears and always told me to be strong for him.

Trying to hold back the tears I stayed strong. I had my mother, little sister and grandmother to be strong for. Someone had to be the bearer. And he asked me to be that.

As a family we stood by his bedside, waiting for him to take his last breath, wishing it could be years from now.

I was upset at God for putting us through this. We didn’t deserve it. However, I held my faith and remembered that God will never give me more than I can handle. I tried to believe that there was a greater purpose to all of this. It had to be something. He couldn’t have died for nothing.

His last breath came and went. I wish I could say he died peacefully in his sleep, but he didn’t. I’m just glad we were all with him and had one last chance to say goodbye.

“Because God is never cruel, there is a reason for all things. We must know the pain of loss; because if we never knew it, we would have no compassion for others, and we would become monsters of self-regard, creatures of unalloyed self-interest. The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one.” ― Dean Koontz, The Darkest Evening of the Year

Life is full of surprises and we can never be prepared for them. We can lose someone we love in the blink of an eye. We never know when our last day will be on Earth. I can’t say for certain that I’ll be here tomorrow. All I can do is pray and have hope that I am blessed with another day because we were never promised tomorrow.

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Although, his death left me feeling mad, sad, confused and lonely, I forced myself a reason to smile. I didn’t let myself lose control and become a mourning zombie. I knew he wouldn’t wanted that. I knew that if he was there, he would have told me to suck it up and put on a smile. After all, his death had already come and there was nothing left to do but continue living. There was nothing I could do to change things.

I like to think the greater purpose behind his death was to teach everyone just how precious life is.

My papa’s death taught me many things. It taught me to be brave and fight for my dreams. His death made me realize that I’m just one person in this big world, yet I can make a difference. Since his passing I’ve pushed forward. I’m pursuing my dreams. And I’m trying. Everyday I wake up determined to get there.

I do my best to help others and push myself to stay healthy. Some days are harder than others. Some days, I’ll miss him more and find myself tearing up. But he isn’t gone. I feel him besides me each and every day. I know he is close, watching over me and the family.

My papa and I had a bond. We were best friends and I miss him. But beyond it all, I am blessed to have been able to spend 20 years with him. I am thankful to have had him in my life.

My grandfather was my hero. I won’t have his death get the best of me. I won’t have his death not have been a lesson to me, nor anyone else. It taught me to love, to be strong, to be brave and to fight for what I believe in.

So that is what I will do.

Death can make us feel lost and lonely. Either it be your mother, friend or family member. Most of us have felt loss and know the heartache behind it. Death is hard to deal with, especially alone. Always remember there is always someone who’ll listen.

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Papa, I know you aren’t here to read this, but I know you’re up there watching.

I miss you. And I will live well, because of you and all you taught me.