On Losing a Loved One by Yesmari Geronimo


There’s a saying: things happen for a reason, but sometimes we can’t fit the pieces together. I know I couldn’t. I had to feel things I never felt and do some things I had never done. In times like this, even though you can’t find the reasons why these things happen, you have to find every reason to keep going.

One cold December night I went into my grandfather’s room and helped make him comfortable before I went to sleep. I never imagined, not for a second, that I would wake up to the worst day of my life. I walked into my grandfather’s room the next morning and recognized that he was unresponsive. I immediately called 911.

"What's your emergency?'' asks the lady on the phone as I tell her what's going on in a confused voice. I followed her instructions and lay him on the floor on top of his purple blanket that had once been mine. I started CPR on my grandfather. I had never been in a position like that. I told the lady on the phone that I was afraid. A few minutes after I tried to help him, the paramedics came in and took him from my arms. They tried to give him life as I stood there. I felt as if I was dying with him. They stood up and told me that his heart had completely stopped.

How do you really move on from something like that? Everyone thinks that the days simply pass and things get better, but they don't. I look like I'm full of life on the outside, but I sometimes feel like I'm dying slowly on the inside.


I am Yesmari Geronimo. I take on my grandfather’s last name. My parents abandoned me when I was five years old and my grandfather took their place, gave me life, and his name, as if I were his own daughter. What hurts the most is that he and I lived together alone, only having each other to rely on. I saw how strong I really was when he died, because I still managed to live my life. I know people were proud of that, but it’s not because I wasn’t upset. It was because I wanted to keep living for him. My grandfather gave me my identity, so I want to pay him back by carrying on his name.

Nobody really ''gets over it'' or '' moves on." We simply get used to the feeling, and make peace with it. When I look back at my old memories, I never picture one without him. He was always there and now he's not. How do you motivate yourself when the only person you were motivated for is gone? What people don't understand is that you can still find happiness in the pain. Pain creates the best artists. My art is writing, so that is a way of telling my grandfather that I haven't given up. Yesmari Geronimo is still here.

The pain won't ever go away. I've tried to keep myself busy to forget about how much it hurts. Nothing you do will feel like it's working, but loving something will. Loving a person or even loving a passion. I love a passion. I have a passion for creative writing which helps with the grief. I put the grief into words. Let the grief show you your path. Don't let it break you. Just let it help you become better.