How to Say Goodbye to the Woman Who Helped Raise Me


Recently, my grandmother passed away. I write the words, but I’m still dealing with the process of understanding them. My friends and family know my relationship with her is one of the most important relationships in my life. It has certainly been one of the most influential. I’m not a person who is openly expressive with grief. I’ve always been better at expressing myself through writing than speaking. However, my grandmother is such a special person, and so important to me that my feelings about her are something I feel compelled to share. I haven’t been able to muster the courage to write since her passing. How do I put so much emotion into a blog post? How do I express how amazing she was? How do I say goodbye?

Then, I realized I don’t. I don’t need to do any of those things. All I need to do is say thank you. I need to shed a light on my infinite gratitude for her and her unconditional willingness to love, nurture, and care for her family. So, to my Grams I say “Thank You”

Thank you for sharing your love of books

Thank you for being my first reader

Thank you for food on the table at dinner

Thank you for rides in that old ’95 Thunderbird to school, to Taekwondo, to my future

Thank you for letting me sing Patsy Cline to you in the kitchen

Thank you for giving me your chin and your wit

Thank you for teaching me how to float – I suspect my love of water comes from you

Thank you for saying “honey” after my name

Thank you for helping me discover my love for everything chocolate and peppermint

Thank you for letting me rest my chin while reading over your shoulder and eating mint chocolates together

Thank you for making the Ruben my favorite sandwich

Thank you for telling me like it is

Thank you for knowing when I needed understanding, and maybe more importantly, when I needed toughness

Thank you for showing me the kind of person I want to be

Thank you for putting the emphasis in grandMOTHER

Thank you for letting me carry on your legacy

There are so many things you did unnoticed. So many things unaccounted for. So many thankless acts. All I can do is say Thank you. Thank you for it all. Most importantly Thank You for loving me. It has made all the difference.

Thank you

Thank you

I love you