DEATH.

by
LAURYN

death-the-skinny-confidential-2

I woke up the other night in a cold sweat.

Dripping actually.

Upset, unsettled, filled with crippling anxiety. The kind of feeling that makes you want to go back to sleep & sleep in…all day. You know?

I had another dream about my grandma. A vivid dream. And well, it makes me really miss her.

DEATH.

It’s no stranger in my life, I’ve experienced death in ways I’m not quite ready to talk about on this blog. In any case, my grandmother’s death has been really hard. For my dad, my sisters, my brother, my stepmom, me, my whole family. It’s a missing piece in our puzzle.

This is something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while…

When people ask me about death & what to do & how to grieve with losing someone important, I always say this: “don’t be there immediately. Everyone else will do that. Be there months…even years down the line.”

Of course I was devastated a few days after my grandma passed away. But what about months, years, 10 years down the line? Because honestly 4 months in & I miss her more than ever.

Time does not always live up to its healing reputation.

In fact, sometimes time can be worse. An enemy, almost. Time.

If someone close to me has a death, I always make it a point to ask months/years down the line how they’re coping? How are they feeling? Or just listen.

Death is funky.

It brings out the nosey. It brings out the worst…& the best in people. You never can be sure. It’s weird, isn’t it?

Recently I just finished the book, What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love by Carole Radziwill. AND I THINK THIS IS WHAT BROUGHT THIS TO THE SURFACE? The nightmares. More anxiety. The interest in posting this on The Skinny Confidential.

Really, What Remains is one of the most beautifully written pieces about death I’ve ever read. Not in a depressing way either. In a way that’s completely relatable to someone who’s experienced a heartbreaking, devastating death.

In What Remains she calls the nosey people “tragedy whores.” Tragedy Whores! And they exist. It is best to ignore them she says. Cope with people who are genuinely interested in helping you get through the death in the most productive way possible.

But back to the cold sweat.

Some part of me thinks the reason I’ve started having cold sweats is because it’s the holidays. Everyone is nostalgic during the holidays, right. Are the holidays an excuse to expose our true feelings without feeling “weird” or do they give the death unwanted power? Which is which?

For me, the holidays represented my grandma’s “Jolly As Fuck” mug, her candied pecans, & the Christmas jazz album blaring from her car.

Ultimately I guess the reason I wanted to do this post is because of you.

If you’re in a position where you’re feeling especially sad/nostalgic/emotional about losing a loved one around the holidays, I feel you. I get it. And…it sucks.

I don’t really have advice here.

In fact, I feel like I’m possibly asking for it? I just know that this last 2 months have been hard. There have been so many times I went to pick up the phone to call my grandma. My grandma wasn’t just my grandma, she was really, REALLY my best friend. With the wedding, it’s been exceptionally difficult because she was SO excited to see us get married. And I was excited to have her see us pull the trigger.

So how do I deal with death?

That question is kind of open-ended.

I don’t know. I just do, I guess.

I take each day as it comes & try to remember the happy, FUNNY memories. Of course darkness creeps in time to time. I try to avoid it by practicing yoga, talking with friends/family, & reading…a lot. Reading helps me SO MUCH more than anyone will ever know- it’s an escape. As The Nanz would say “get outside yourself, Lauryn.”

If you’re experiencing grief or death, how are you dealing? Is it more difficult for you during the holidays? Do you guys want to open a conversation about this? I can go deeper…but I’m hesitant, I really don’t want to be a Debbie Downer. I just can’t look at another gift guide. NEEDED to talk about something else, something a lot of us go through during the holidays…& every day.

Ultimately I wanted to let you know, you’re not alone. Happy holidays to every one of you special people. XO

lauryn x

OH, ALSO:

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  1. Sarelle

    I love this post and I think this kind of content is really really important for TSC. 99% of the time you’re a positive, badass babe – I think it’s equally important to blog about stuff that may just be healing for you or on the opposite end of the spectrum. Obviously if you aren’t ready, that’s that. But if you are – go deeper please.

    Reply
  2. Kiran

    That’s the best advice I think I have ever heard, I want to say more but death is probably a touchy subject for everybody. It’s something I think about constantly and we’re all touched by death in some way. I never know what to say to others because I didn’t know what to say to myself and I still don’t. This was so perfectly written and I am really glad you shared it. I love Carol from RHONY and will definitely be reading her book. Thank you for sharing this x

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

    Reply
  3. Clarise

    Thank you for this post, My gran passed away in October and it’s been difficult. Everything around this season reminds me of her. So I feel you to! Stay strong. Xx

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      I’m sorry to hear about your gran. I feel for you too. Thank you so much for your support Clarise. XO

  4. Melissa Rakowski

    Lauryn, I am an avid reader of your blog but never write a comment. Your post today was so painfully honest and I hurt for you. I hope sharing your thoughts about your loss was cathartic. Merry Christmas to you.

    Reply
  5. Kendall

    Lauryn,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t have any advice either, but I will say that everything you share on your blog helps more people than you know. Writing the way that you do takes a lot of guts. I just wanted to acknowledge that in case no one has told you how bad ass you were today. Xoxo!

    Reply
  6. Jen B.

    This is excellent advice. You’re right, nobody ever checks in months or years later to see how someone is coping. I lost my grandfather and fiance all in one year…. ten years ago. I’d love to say that it gets easier, but it doesn’t. You just learn how to deal with it better. I find that people are really afraid to mention the death of a loved one months/years later, as to not open up the wound. So, to break the ice, I am always the one to mention how much I miss them and it starts the conversation. I find that many people feel the same and are just to afraid to go there. So, I don’t know, my only suggestion is to never assume people have moved on from those feelings just because they don’t say anything – be the one to start the conversation. It will help you and others. Always remember and let the magic our loved ones gave to us live on through ourselves. Hang in there Lauryn.

    Reply
  7. Masha

    This is one of my favorite comments about death by a Roman philosopher Seneca…
    “Death is the release from all pain and complete cessation, beyond which our suffering will not extend. It will return us to that condition of tranquility, which we had enjoyed before we were born. Should anyone mourn the deceased, then he must also mourn the unborn. Death is neither good nor evil, for good or evil can only be something that actually exists. However, whatever is of itself nothing and which transforms everything else into nothing will not at all be able to put us at the mercy of Fate.”

    Reply
  8. rxhunt

    First off, I’m glad you are talking about this (it benefits both you and your readers).
    I recently lost a mentor to suicide and I’m having a hard time grasping the situation.
    I’ve spent the last 20 minutes typing things to say and deleting it… just know we all grateful for your openesss and we are sorry for the loss of such a special person in your life.
    It looks like nan lived a FULL and HAPPY life, and she was truly lucky to have such a badass granddaughter to have so many great times with.
    You are the best kind of human. Now go have an awesome day.

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Suicide is very tricky. It comes with a lot of guilt. I am sending you lots of love & happy vibes. Thank you for reading & thank you for your perfect comment. x

  9. Emily

    My dad passed away this past March after a hard battle with cancer. He was my best friend and I think of him every day, which is so strange to me because I’m functioning well….I work hard at my job, I workout, I practice yoga (that’s helped a lot!) I enjoy cooking healthy meals at home, I hang out with friends and family….but he’s somehow constantly on my mind at the same time as those activities and I can’t explain how that works. For me, I think I deal with my grief by celebrating his life. I feel like some people don’t want to talk about death, or they are scared about asking you how you’re doing and then when they do they give you that pity look that I hate. They may think they are keeping me from my pain not to ask about him, but not to talk about him actually makes me feel more isolated in my grief. I had an absolutely amazing father, and I want to talk about him! I want to look at photos, and share fun memories, and remember all his wonderful qualities that I hope I can exemplify in myself. My sister-in-law’s father passed away a couple years ago from cancer as well and she says it gets a little easier but the ache never really goes away. We both agreed the hardest part is feeling like you’re missing out because he’s not around. I got married a month after my dad passed away and I had to work hard to accept that he wasn’t going to walk me down the aisle, and we weren’t going to dance to our song for the father-daughter dance, and that he wouldn’t help me buy my first house, and he won’t see me have my first child…..but then I realized a second way to deal with my grief is to just remind myself of all the blessings there were while he was alive. He could have passed away the first time he got cancer 10 years ago when I was 17. Then he never would have seen me graduate high school, college, get my first job, meet my husband, etc. So I celebrate his life, I remember him, I talk about him, and I thank God everyday for the time I was able to have with him. It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with your grandma which is such a blessing. Celebrate her this holiday! It’s healing to talk about our loved ones, to keep up traditions they had, and to reminisce on all the wonderful times we shared with them 🙂

    Reply
    1. Paige @ Healthy Hits the Spot

      Emily, Hi! I was just reading through the comments & your comment touched me so much. My sweet mama current has terminal cancer & we’re not sure how much longer she has. I’ve been in some fear lately about how hard it will feel if she leaves us, but your comment has encouraged me more than maybe anything else I’ve read. Thanks so much for sharing this. I love hearing that you’re able to keep going and remember all of the wonderful things about your incredible dad that make you happy. I know it’s got to be so hard. My heart is with you. Thanks again. XO

  10. Em

    Lauryn I love this post. And you’re right – you just deal – you just cope. There’s no golden, magical answer. You find a way to keep going, because life goes on. It’s so finite, it’s so real. I love that you addressed it in your own, always real, amazing way. Happy holidays girlfriend, hang in there <3

    Reply
  11. Emily Hight

    Hi there, Lauryn,

    I feel, you and I understand. In the past 6 years, I’ve lost many close family members that I helped to care for. It’s a kind of ache that resides deep in the belly ALL THE TIME. But it’s even worse around special occasions. The holidays. Even just the hard days that make you want to pick up the phone and giggle with someone who isn’t there anymore.

    My advice? Make your own candied pecans and blare some Christmas jazz. Carry on your grandma’s traditions. These people will always live on in your feeling and memories, but it helps to have some lasting, physical reminders of the wicked cool people you’ve lost.

    Make sure you have something “totally grandma” at the wedding, and she’ll be there even more than just in spirit 🙂

    Emily

    Reply
  12. Kara

    This post is speaking to me. I lost my grandpa 3 weeks ago. He was 94 and in amazing shape. My office is actually not being all that understanding. I work with some incredibly people, they just don’t get it. I can see a lot of them not understanding the pain of losing a grandparent. I keep on saying for me its like losing a Parent! My Dads aunt died on Monday as well. I will be working through the holidays away from home and it’s awful. The one thing I know that makes me feel better is to talk about the funny things he did…he did quite a bit. I wish you all the comfort in the world. It’s not easy and time hurts too. Hang in there and I hope the holidays take it easy on you.

    Reply
  13. Annie

    Death is a strange topic. I never know what to say to someone who has lost someone so close to them, yet I lost my mother to cancer when I was only 17. I’ve been through it myself, the worst of the worst with death, and yet I don’t even know what to say to help someone else at the exact time when they are so fragile and emotional.

    Saying something such as, use it as motivation to create a better life for yourself seems inappropriate, but that is how I coped with it. I always made sure that I did things that would have made my Mom proud as she was looking down upon me.

    Also, she wanted my younger sister and I to hang crystals in our windows so that when they sparkled, we knew that was her saying hi. I have crystal chandeliers all over my house and crystals in my windows. It brings a smile to my face when I see a rainbow of light on my walls.

    So I guess I don’t have advice either, just my own experiences. I think that’s part of coping: sharing experiences with others and creating that connection. It’s so healing in a way. It makes sense because it’s one of the reasons why the human race has evolved to become the dominant species instead of monkeys, for example; our ability to tell stories, believe in those stories and connect with each other.

    Sending you lots of love Lauryn!
    xo Annie

    Reply
  14. Lianna

    First, my heart goes out to you. Know you are not alone in your feelings of pain and loss.

    Second, I highly recommend this piece, “An Open Letter to Everyone Spending the Holidays Alone” (http://www.glamour.com/story/an-open-letter-to-everyone-spending-the-holidays-alone). And while you may not be spending the holidays alone, I feel like this author just GETS it and hits the nail on the head for those of us who may be feeling pain this holiday season. I feel like this piece almost gives you permission to feel your pain and NOT feel guilty because you’re not as merry and festive as everyone around you/society expects you to be during this time of year.

    Finally, try to look at your dreams not as nightmares but as visits from your grandma and proof that she is with you and watching you. I very much believe that those who have left the physical world come to visit us in our subconscious, which we are able to access when we sleep.

    I hope this helps. May peace and comfort be with you.

    Reply
  15. Angeline

    Girl. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My grandma and best friend also passed in June of this year and I can totally relate to all of this. And just like you, I have no idea how I’m getting through it either. The one thing I’ve found that brings me peace is going for a walk, drive, jog alone…and really, really breathing in the outside world. Since my grandma passed away in the summertime, I did a lot of sunset watching. There was something about sitting there alone and quiet and in my own thoughts that made me feel like she was really there with me. Take a deep breath and just try to remember she’s all around you. Being conscience of these little moments have made all the difference to me.

    There have been multiple close deaths in my family this year and it really starts to make you question everything; Why is life so hard? How can I continue to be happy? Did I do enough? Did I see her enough? I’ve learned the best thing to do is to keep on keeping on – because, after all, that’s what they’d want you to do. There’s really no predicting these things and if you loved her (which I know you did), it will be enough to last forever. I’m sure the Nanz is watching you and will be forever proud of who you are and who you’ve yet to become. Keep her close to you as best as you can – through memories, photos, and the endless love she has given you.

    I read this quote somewhere once (and I’ll probably get it wrong) but it’s something like: If a writer loves you, you’ll live forever. It hit close to home because I’m a writer too. There is so much of her in your book and your blog and she will live on forever – not just in your heart, but in the hearts of SO many people that feel like they know her thanks to your words. She will certainly live on.

    Thinking of you this holiday season and I hope it’s all things bright. xo

    Reply
  16. Lindsey W.

    Hi Lauryn,

    That was a really really open, honest, and deep post and I appreciate you writing that! Death is such a strange topic–hard as well, but I think many readers will appreciate that. Just like you said, the holidays are nostalgic, and growing up being close to grandparents who have passed (BOTH my grandmas were Christmas Junkies) I strive to keep the tradition alive and have them be apart of the holidays without them being there if that makes sense. It’s so hard, it will never be the same, but they will always love you. Always. Merry Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful and special holiday! Take some time for you 🙂

    xx
    Lindsey

    P.S. This definitely brought tears to my eyes

    Reply
  17. krista

    I needed to read this post today. You are not a Debbie Downer in the least…I come to your site because it’s all about realness and this is as real as it gets right? I’m sure it’s hard to share such personal thoughts ‘with the world’ but it is so helpful to hear someone else going through something similar, things like this can be so isolating. Thanks for always keeping it real <3 stay strong, happy holidays.

    Reply
  18. Marilyn @ The Salonniere's Apartments

    Hi Lauryn! This post couldn’t have come at a more timely manner. I lost my partner earlier this year after a long illness and everything you said in this post clicked with me.

    With suggestions for helping those dealing with grief, I agree very much about waiting months down the track to ask people how they are doing. Also, I recommend not just saying, “Call me if you need anything.” Instead, call them! Call just to say hi or show up at their doorstep with some food and drink, or even just a text message every now and then that says “thinking of you” or even just a kiss and a smiley face helps big time on those tough days. Reaching out to those grieving can be a big help, especially because it can be hard for the person grieving to reach out to others and ask for help.

    And as for dealing with grieving itself, I wish I could offer some really good, wise, kind advice but unfortunately I’m at a loss myself too! All I can say is just take it one day at a time because it is very hard. Some days I think I’m okay and getting much better, and other days I completely lose it for what feels like no reason at all. It is so super tough and also – after a barrage of tears – quite exhausting! Just remember to be very kind to yourself and be patient with yourself and give yourself plenty of extra self-love! I think what they say about the first year of grief is very true because it is the first year you experience without them. Each new season, anniversaries, holidays, they’re all the first without that person you miss and love so very much and it is all.so.freaking.hard. But it does get better too as time goes by – sometimes it doesn’t feel that way and sometimes the grief comes rushing back and feels just as bad or even worse than ever before, but overall it does slowly get better as days and weeks go by. You find yourself remembering the good times and cherishing them all the more now. I also agree with you about reading being a major escape (getting lost amongst my books have helped me so much!!) and just being with friends and family. And also to remember it is okay to be sad and to miss them, for the grief to come rushing in out of completely nowhere, even when you think you’re supposed to be okay. It’s okay to not be okay!

    Holidays are the hardest – just today I was wandering through the grocery store stacked high with Christmas goods and just felt the sudden urge to bawl in the middle of the delicatessen section because he’s not there to share all these Christmas beautiful items with like last year. But I also try to remember that he would hate to see me sad and that more than anything he wanted to live, so I try to pick myself up and live each day with as much fulfilment as I can for him.

    This is such a super long comment, but I just felt I had to reach out and share. I don’t know if any of this would help, but I hope it does. Thank you for being so brave and for sharing this post with us to let others know they are not alone out there! Sending you lots of big hugs and love for the season xx
    Marilyn

    Reply
  19. Jessica

    Thank you for posting this, Lauryn. Very well said and I don’t have any advice either. Definitely feel you though. I was catching up on your podcast archive recently and especially loved the episode where The Nanz was talking about the beautiful outfit she picked out for your wedding. Made me cry – and the tears were mostly happy (though the sad ones for you and your family were biggies). She loves you so much and I personally believe that love never ends – no matter what happens in this world. Love to you and your family!

    Reply
  20. Gina T.

    This would be helpful, my husband lost his mother at age 7 unexpectedly, tragically and without getting to say good bye. He is now 35 and each year has a moment where that “darkness” crawls in. I have not experienced something like that in my life and I don’t know the best way to help him. He has a hard time letting those emotions out and I could use some advice on how you get through those times; and is there something that people say to actually make it worse? My family has brought the Christmas joy back to him because when we first met he just wanted to be alone on that day. I have started some traditions with him and let him lead the way for our new Christmas traditions which has helped but during those few days of sadness do you have any advice?

    Reply
  21. Sarah

    I’m sorry you are going through such a hard time… my mom passed away when I was younger and I think the “it goes away with time” stuff is bs. It does get a little better in the way that I can now go weeks without thinking about her, but that almost feels worse because then you’re like “holy crap I’m an awful person I just went X amount of time without even thinking about them”. The one thing that I do that makes me feel close to her is I still talk to her all the time. It feels very weird at first and I don’t like anyone ever hearing me do it, but I do it all the time now. When I do something exciting, when I’m nervous, or especially when I’m going through a rough time, she’s the person I go to. And I appreciate you posting this. Your blog wouldn’t be your blog if you didn’t post real things. Life isn’t always perfect instagram photos and snaps, there’s gnarly jaw surgery and death and 1,000 other things that raddle us.

    Reply
  22. Kristen

    Thank you so much for posting this! It was the post I didn’t know I needed to read right now. We had to bury my Grandfather 3 years ago on Christmas Eve. 3 years later and it is still gut-wrenching at the most unexpected times. Much like you and The Nanz, he was one of my best friends and the most important man in my life. As hard as it can be at this time it’s also sort of the best because I feel him around so much this time of year and have so many memories of him at Christmas and New Years (his birthday was December 30th). Time is a funny thing as you say, but it can also be great if you find those times and things that make you feel close to them. Sending you love!

    Reply
  23. Sara

    I love this post…the point about being there for someone weeks, months, years down the road is so totally true. I lost my newborn son in 2013 and my grief is still very present. I think about him every day. It always means so much to me when a friend asks how I am doing or remembers his birthday or his passing day. Dealing with death is such a weird thing and the devestating sadness from it can appear at any time. Time does not heal…death is a wound that will never truely close.

    Reply
  24. Kate Bray

    Lauryn,

    Thank you very much for writing this. I feel for you and feel so similar to you. No real advice here either, just solidarity. I lost my Dad almost six years ago (NO idea how it’s already been that long) and the holidays are especially hard. The days are way easier to get through, but I still miss him more and more each and every day. I too still reach for the phone wanting to call him. His death, however, has given me a much greater sense of perspective that has helped me through so much that has happened in my life since then.

    This is not me trying to promote my blog by any means, but I wrote a much more in-depth post on the perspective it’s given me, how I’ve coped, and remembering my Dad after losing him. It’s a post I’m proud of and I hope that perhaps it could give you a little hope too. If you’d like to read it, it’s here: http://www.lovekatebray.com/time-perspective-and-remembering-my-dad/

    Thanks again for writing this and for the book recommendation. Definitely going to Amazon Prime it right now.

    xo Kate

    Reply
  25. Kate Bray

    Oh, ALSO: I’ve had nightmares about my Dad too. BUT I’ve also had the most beautiful, encouraging, heartwarming dreams about my Dad where I truly have felt like he’s visiting me and checking in on me. Letting me know he’s with me. I’m not a particularly religious person by any means, but those dreams are real to me. He promised he’d find a way to let me know he was with me after he died, and he did. I hope and think that that will happen for you too.

    Reply
  26. Pingback: DEATH. – NO#ILTER

  27. Liz Squire

    A few things I have learned about death after losing my little sister Chelsea last year:

    -Everything does NOT happen for a reason. Don’t let people tell you it does.
    -Some things in life cannot be fixed; they can only be carried.
    -Time does not “heal” wounds. We just learn over time how to live with them.
    -People should talk about death and about their grief. Our culture tends to avoid the death a grief because it is uncomfortable, and it causes them to rely on platitudes to “support” the grieving.
    -You learn a lot of things about the people around you after a death. Some people really step up when you least expect it, others will distance themselves. You learn who your true friends and family are.
    -Cry. Scream. Laugh. Be sad. Talk. Do whatever you need to do and DON’T be ashamed of it.

    I have found great comfort in reading the works of two grief writers who approach the subject of death in a very real, raw, and honest manner, here are the links to their pages:

    http://www.timjlawrence.com/blog/
    http://www.refugeingrief.com/

    Sending hugs to anyone who is grieving this season <3

    -Liz

    Reply
    1. Chelsea campbell

      I really want to like this post.

      Spot on.

      I am so sorry about your sister. 🙁

  28. Boni

    Lauryn, this is my favorite post in a while! It was so honest, and thank you for sharing. I think regardless of what kind of death, loss, illness, or it is that plagues us all—so many people act as if the Holidays are full of cheer and Christmas wipes everything away for a month. Actually, I think this time of year is harder for any other time of year for people, we just choose to cover it up. I’m 100% a fan of holiday tunes, shopping for excess things for loved ones, and a good get together with friends I haven’t seen in a while….but almost everyone I talk to acknowledges that hidden in those happy moments are the occasional spurt of undeniable, unexplainable depression and sadness. I think maybe it’s because we realize that we should be as happy as we are during the holidays all year round and realize that our lives maybe aren’t that way—which really should trigger change and growth. Anyways, thank you for sharing and being so open 🙂 Maybe the san diego rain isn’t helping either….

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Glad you liked it. It was a hard one to write but necessary. Holidays are tough on all of us. Sending you tons of love Boni xx

  29. Jen

    It never goes away. I think the emotions just start become more manageable. I lost my grandpa 20 years ago, but he was a HUGE part of my life… to this day if I drive by where he’s buried (which happens a lot), I will tear up. Some days I’ll just start talking to him… but that’s now the relationship I have. I still miss him so much, but this is the new normal, and I do truly feel he’s still watching over me.

    Reply
  30. Leanne

    I think its really important to talk about stuff like this. Its so true- everything you said. I lost my grampie and now that the holidays roll around I just want to press the fast forward button. Even if you can’t offer any advice, I think its great for everyone to hear that they’re not the only ones feeling this way.

    I don’t think this is too dark at all. If anything, topics like this just strengthen the connection between all of us and you. Your openness is really appreciated. Thank you for showing an open heart.

    Reply
  31. Shannon

    Lauryn, this was an incredible post. This is the rawness & realness that really makes TSC (AND YOU!) second to none. Death is something that constantly makes me feel uncomfortable. It also constantly reminds me how precious of a gift we all have. To be real, everything you said is really the best advice on death I’ve ever read. Time doesn’t always heal (& is a scary thing to be quite frank), so that’s why being there time after time again is just so important to help others heal. The Nanz was such a wonderful light. I loved her posts here and I even have her interview bookmarked because her attitude and advice for life was just spot on. I am so sorry you are hurting, and thought it’s a comment and an occasional e-mail, I am thinking of you, especially in your new life as a newlywed and over the holidays. I do hope you find some peace & healing, especially as you write your feelings out. Spot on with the tragedy whores too. Those are the worst and detrimental to any sort of healing. Again, you created a community here at TSC and so we are ALWAYS here for YOU. My holiday wish to you is to find some sort of peace and keep doing things that would make her smile from above, which I know you are every single day. Keeping you and her in my thoughts. <3

    Reply
  32. Ruth

    Wow Lauren, thank you so much for writing this. I can’t really express how much this meant to me today. I’ve experienced grief since my older brother died when i was 14. I’m 31 now but I think of him almost every day. I am dreading when my granddad dies…I love him so much. sometimes I just feel like I can’t handle it anymore.
    I have learned to not be ashamed of the grief and pain, and to allow myself to cry, lbut also to get up and “get outside myself” as your Nanz told you. I just want you to know that I really appreciate your words today…so, so much. ?

    Reply
  33. Monique Miner

    I needed this today of all days. Laying in bed missing my papa. He was my best friend and we spent almost every day together- so naturally the holidays is extremely rough but this is how life works. I choose to believe that good people go to a better place. That they’re always watching over us. Always with us. After my grandfather passed away so many blessings started coming my way. Things that only he and I would talk about. My secert dreams coming true and I couldn’t help but smile, laugh and sometimes cry… look up into the sky and thank him and the big man above of course.

    I choose to believe that all the little things that happen throughout the days months and years are signs of the ones that have passed sending us light and love. Hope this helps. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your journey! Xo

    Reply
  34. Julie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve commented a few times on your Instagram about losing my Pops. It’s the fucking worst thing in the world. Not sure any other words describe it. I’m dreading Christmas because HE made our Christmas every year with his Santa hat and special gifts and scotch in his special Christmas glass. I wish I had advice but I don’t. I’m right there with you! Xo

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  35. leslie

    i was close to my grandaddy like you are to the nanz, and it took me TWO YEARS to fully grieve, process, then get over his death. don’t rush it. it’s sad and it hurts, but i see it as them sticking with us a little longer to help us heal 🙂

    Reply
  36. Adriana

    One of my closest friends passed away suddenly a couple of years ago. I was devastated at the time, but in time, that initial sharp pain of loss was replaced by a more dull, sustained pain. There are nights where the pain feels as bad as that first night he was gone, even now a few years down the line. I don’t know what to do about it other than remembering the good times and being grateful for the years I did have him in my life. It sounds trite, writing that down. So cliche. But it’s genuinely the one thing that calms my nerves and soothes my sadness.

    Reply
  37. Bailey

    Lauryn,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I understand where you are coming from. I lost my Grandmother about 3 years ago now (which is crazy), and it still hurts. I have her laugh ingrained in my heart and I constantly think of her in hopes that I won’t forget anything about her. I tend to smile more now when I think about her. It is difficult if you dwell on your thoughts that you will never see this person again, but I think it helps to think about the ways that they are still with you. The things you’ve learned from them and how you’ve become the person you are because of their influence. Additionally, I dealt with many deaths this year, particularly deaths of friends, people who were young. There were about 3 of them all around the same time, which is also around the same time that I was engaged. It was difficult for me to focus on my happiness because I felt guilty when such horrible things were happening to the people close around me. I had a severe anxiety attack, something that I had never dealt with before. I saw a doctor, I started going to yoga, and I learned how to cope. I think the thing about death is that it’s scary, it’s unknown, and it’s unpredictable. It gives a lot of people anxiety, but I think talking about it can help.

    Reply
  38. Sara Savage

    I lost my grandmother very suddenly in May, and my grandfather a year and half before that. The only way I don’t go into full anxiety mode over any relief and grief I feel is to acknowledge them, all the time. I don’t shy away if there’s an anecdote related to them I can bring up, when relevant of course; I point out anything they would have liked or if my family makes a joke they would have loved. Doing this I finally understand the whole “loved ones never really leave us”thing. When I’m missing them, I’m missing them, and when I”m functioning fine I don’t ignore the impact they left behind. But, who knows? This could be the advice I use today, but it could be totally irrelevant tomorrow.

    Reply
  39. Natalie M Neece

    Hey Lauren, I’m a fellow San Diego blogger as well and you have inspired me to share my own experience with death. I recently lost my biological mother and briefly shared my story on social media. Writing about it does help the healing process. It is such a blessing you were able to be close to your grandmas. And even more of a blessing that you understand your grief. As cliche as it sounds, it really is just one day at a time. I very much enjoyed reading this and happy holidays.

    Natalie Neece

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  40. Caitlin Butler

    L – I know it’s not much but I wanted to share that in honor of the Nanz I am making her Pecans as gifts for loved ones this year. Yes, her exact recipe from that faded index card. The love and joy will be shared with others thanks to you. I hope this offers some small glimmer of light during what can be a tough time. Happy holidays and best vibes to you and yours.

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  41. Briana O.

    You’re not being a Debbie Downer! This is real, and so many of us have experienced it. Thanks for being so open Lauyrn, it help those of us grappling with similar issues. Besides, on an intellectual level we know we’re not alone, but seeing something like this helps it click on an emotional level. Happy Holidays Boo!

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  42. gigi

    I’m so sorry. I lost my dog a couple months ago and its been horrible. I am coping. There are days where I know I have to be strong and try to be happy and tuck away the pain into a little box. There are other days when I know I need a good cry. My advice is to know when to be strong and know when you need to just be. Rachel Brathen’s writings about losing her dog and losing her bestfriend and Grandma have all helped me too. She knows how to put everything I’m feeling into words and that makes me feel less alone. Know that you don’t always have to be happy. And know that all the pain you feel speaks to how much you loved her, which is beautiful. There’s a risk to loving that hard, maybe you’re not supposed to get over it.

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  43. Naomi

    This is so spot on, Lauryn. I lost my uncle 8 years ago and it’s proof that time doesn’t heal all wounds. Not even close. The whole in your heart never goes away, you just sorta build your life around it. Thinking of you and sending you and your family nothing but love!

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  44. Chelsea campbell

    Lauryn,
    I don’t even know where to start. I have known you for SO many years now. I can’t tell you how beautiful you are and how much you have grown over the years. Sunshine has always radiated from you!! I just wish I could see you in person more!
    Death. Such a scary and hard to talk about subject. You and I share one thing in common, and it something I would never wish upon anyone. Even though losing someone is hard to talk about, I really feel like it is necessary. Keeping emotions related to losing a loved one inside is never a good idea. I agree with you 100% that time is almost the enemy. Not a day goes by that I do not miss my mother. The holidays are the worst, as is my birthday and hers. Mothers day. AWFUL. Having a child without here was traumatic. And getting married wasn’t as happy of a time as I had hoped for. I do know that celebrating her life makes it easier for me. If I find myself thinking of how sad I am without her, I allow myself a few tears, but then quickly try to revert my attention to the GOOD things. I think you do a good job of surrounding yourself with positivity and kick ass memories you have of your grandma.
    I know there are some things that you aren’t ready to share with everyone yet………..You don’t have too. You have people that know what you are speaking about (me!) that will always be there to listen. You know I am always here to check in and make sure you are doing well……….Which alludes to my next thing, your advise is spot on about not being there immediately but down the road. best advise I have ever heard on this subject.

    Anyways, I am done with my novel ha. Love you and keep up the good work!

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  45. Lauren

    Thanks for the post lauryn. I lost my mom a couple years ago and every thanksgiving, Christmas, and Mother’s Day leaves me feeling a sense of sadness and emptiness. My sister told me grief comes in waves, and as you pointed out, those waves can last months and years.

    Thanks again. Hang in there. ❤

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  46. Tess

    Your story means something and she meant something to you. Don’t stop talking :)…beautiful raw post.

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  47. Brittany Terhufen

    I feel so much of this. I, too, lost my grandma back in August. It was my first touch with death of a loved one in my life. And it rocked me. Way more than I imagined it would. I think the most important thing to do is acknowledge the feelings. Be immersed in them and don’t try to push them away. Share them, like you are here. There is a woman on Insta that I follow and she shares her journey of grieving the loss of her mother. Her insight has really helped me and may be of value to you as well. Her handle is @angigreene.

    I hope that writing this post has helped you. I know that it has helped me during the first holiday season without her. All my love and support! ❤️

    Reply
  48. Elle

    Thank you for this post. My grandmother and I were super close (she raised me) so since she passed away this April I’ve been walking around completely gutted. Learning to cope has been hard and feeling ready to talk about with people (however concerned for me they may be) has been very difficult as well. Grief is such a bitch and I don’t see where the missing her ever goes away… which makes the process even harder. Volunteering has helped me so much. Interacting with others in a setting where the focus isn’t on me AT ALL has helped me get out of my head for a few hours and builds up my self-worth at the same time. Afterwards, I feel happy that I also spent time doing something that would make her proud. Sometimes I still talk to her, like I would want to, and I just have to convince myself that she hears me and is guiding me, just not in the way I’m used to or would ideally want. Holidays are difficult but I hope you find a way to enjoy and heal. I’ll be thinking about you and sending you healing vibes!

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  49. Lindsay Tuttle

    This was beautifully said, Lauryn. I just want you to know that this was one of the best posts you have written. So authentic and raw, and I am positive that many people out there needed a post like this. To know they are not alone. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. 🙂

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  50. Emily

    Beautiful post! It is a good reminder to always be sensitive to those around us – grief is definitely brought to the surface during the holidays. You and your family are in my prayers. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  51. Tish

    Lauryn.
    I feel you on so many levels with this one. My brother passed away a year ago. At times, I feel like I’m okay but other times the grief just creeps up on me and suffocates and causes me to burst out in tears. It could be a song on the radio, a memory, a picture, a smell, a sound… The best advice I can give is to take it day by day and live your life to the fullest and most joyful…the Nanz would want it that way! Xxoo

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  52. Hattie

    Thank you so much for writing this post. It’s so nice to not feel alone when struggling with the holidays. You inspire me everyday ?

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  53. Arielle Levy

    I’m so happy you always have the strength to be yourself, even when that means talking about difficult subjects. I remember at your Bach when we were a few drinks in and you saw my phone screen saver and said how sweet my grandpa looked and you could tell he has a beautiful soul, I couldn’t bring myself to say he’s no longer with me, he passed away a year ago and it hurts more the more time passes. I’ll read this book for sure. Love you.

    Reply
  54. Mo

    Love this. It’s nice knowing when I’m not the only one going through this. My brother died two years ago and his birthday was christmas eve. It’s always the elephant in the room around the holidays. Everyone is thinking about it but not talking about it. It’s hard to bring up but I don’t want to ignore it either, he wouldn’t want that. So I like to think of the happy times we all had together and try to focus on that. I also gave birth to my first child this year..a little girl. I want her to hear about her uncle Danny and have her know him through memories. Youre right though. Time doesn’t alays heal and it doesn’t always make it better but you have to keep moving!

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  55. JLee

    I admire your courage and empathy to talk about such a painful topic. This post made me love you even more! Hope you celebrate this holiday the way your Nan would have wanted you to. I’ve lost a lot of close friends and family…when times get hard I imagine how they would want me to live for them. Do you believe in Psychic Mediums? I bet your Nan has a lot to say from the other side. Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Holiday and New Year xo

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  56. Adrianna Taeschler

    Thank you for sharing this. I think it’s just as important for you to show the tough times as it is to show the positive times. Death is something that everyone can relate to and everyone will cope differently. I think this is a great, safe space for people to share advice, lean on each other and learn from what works for others. I lost my papa almost 2 and a half years ago and it has not gotten easier. Almost every time I think of him I cry because I miss him terribly and am sad he will miss major milestones in my life. I usually call my mom or my nana when I get sad and we reminisce and are sad together, which helps to know they miss him as much as I do. This will probably sound crazy, but usually at night when I’m in bed and get sad about him, I talk to him out loud. I ask him to give me a sign that he’s watching over me. It really helps me feel like he’s not fully gone and he still has a presence.
    xoxo adrianna

    Reply
  57. Erin

    I’ve experienced death several times and at different stages in my life. It doesn’t get easier, but it is always a good thing to talk about, especially during the holidays where it can sting a little more. I appreciate this post, it’s extremely relatable and helpful. Sending love to you. xoxo.

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  58. Julie

    Thank you for your honesty and sharing your feelings. My father in law is terminally ill and this will likely be his last Christmas. I’m feeling paralyzed by this whole holiday season and am so stressed I’m now in bed sick myself. We all don’t need a picture perfect Christmas./holidays. Sometimes we just aren’t going to get there and that’s us this year. I do appreciate your raw emotions vs. another gift guide. God bless!!!

    Reply
  59. Michelle

    Lauryn,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I most definitely don’t think speaking on the topic of death and grieving is a downer. I think it’s really good for you to express your feelings and really good for the reader who might be experiencing the same thing. I lost my dad in May to colon cancer. Im an only child and my parents were divorced at the time he got sick, spent 14 days in the ICU on a ventilator, and was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, roughly three months prior to his passing. His death has been the toughest event I’ve ever gone through. It was really difficult to get out of bed on some days. Thankfully, I had a wonderful support system. My mother still loved him even after the bad things they went through and she was by his side and mine through his illness. You’re post has inspired me to look for those in my life who’ve lost someone and check in with them months/years later. I don’t really think grief ever ends. It just evolves with time. It’s been 7 months since I lost my dad and I’m still taking it day by day. I’m not sure that there is advice to give in this situation since every one is different but one of the things that has helped me is to talk about my dad when I’m in the mood to. It helps me process everything. I miss my dad more than anything and when I think about the fact that he won’t get to see me graduate from college this coming spring or that he won’t get to see me graduate from medical school, or he won’t get to watch me get married, I just think about how proud he is of me and how grateful I am that I got to be his daughter for 21 years.

    Death is a sad topic. For. Sure. But, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed. So I hope you find the courage to share the rest of your story. Thank you for opening up the discussion. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    XOXO,
    Michelle

    Reply
  60. Jade Brandt

    My grandmother and I had a similar bond. I would always tell her all the latest gossip, we would drink Franzia in red solo cups with ice because that was her favorite drink, we loved shopping and would call each other when we got a great deal, and we loved each other so so much. When she died it was life shattering. I had similar feelings of wanting to reach for my phone to call her and remembering and then having a gut punch feeling in my stomach. Right after she died, I was just going through the motions and surviving totally thinking I was doing fine but the more time that passed, the more I miss her.
    I relate to your words so much, losing your people is so shitty & I am so sorry for your loss. xox

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  61. Cat

    Thank you for this post, I actually came across it completely by accident. My father passed away yesterday (the date of your post). Tough times ahead but really hoping that time can work its magic so that remembering memories can be bittersweet rather than heartbreaking.

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  62. R.patra

    Loosing someone whom we are close to is hard and to open up about it is even harder. Remembering that person and let loose your emotions is sometimes very necessary.
    So chin up and deal with it as The Nanz would have advised you. And you are the best one to come near her thoughts.

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  63. Jaylen Quinn

    I am so, so grateful you wrote this and I read it today. My dog suddenly passed away in March, truly my best friend as well, and it’s the first big jolt into close death I’ve had. This really did make me feel not alone, thank you. I welcome more conversations like this one on your blog! I wrote an article on my blog about books/audiobooks that have helped me Thisbe year, you’re spot on that reading helps tremendously ❤️

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  64. Ashley M. La Fleur

    I lost my father over four years ago, and I think, for me, the first year was the hardest. That being said, there are always times where it just hits you. Recently, it was me getting my marriage license and them asking if my father was still alive…and realizing he won’t be able to see me walk down the aisle. I think you just have to be so patient and gracious with yourself. If you realize you’re feeling this way, I find it’s helpful tell my loved ones. They’ll be happy to give you the space or love you need. <3

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  65. Virginia

    Lauryn I wish I had some wonderful piece of advice here but I don’t. But I can tell you that this type of raw, real writing is my absolute favourite to read & relate to and I can’t thank you enough for sharing with us. Love & support always xx

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  66. Jess

    Lauryn, I loved this. Thank you for being real with your readers – the holidays are not, not, not warm fuzzies and presents for all of us. Hang tight to those wonderful memories – seriously, thanks for this. xx

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  67. emma

    Love you Lauryn thank you for being so transparent with your readers. We LOVE you! Always here for you as a community

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  68. Amanda

    This is my first holiday season without my dad. We lost him earlier this year to pancreatic cancer. There is no real way to grieve, I’ve learned this through my weekly therapy sessions. I would just say keep an open communication with your loved ones and let them know when your feeling sad. I hope you can get through this holiday and remember her memory.

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  69. Karla Casas

    I love your post, it’s like you read my mind, I lost my mother last year and it’s so incredible hard because Christmas was her favorite time of the year, because she love family gatherings and the dinner and stuff.
    She was my best friend too, but I still love the holidays because even everything reminds me of her, I enjoy the memories as she was just right besides me, every smell reminds me of her.
    I try to instead of being sad, to be happy because she was part of my life and make it great.
    I hope one day I could be as great person as she was, and if you get sad it’s ok, you need sometimes to be a little sad, to remember the great things and people that you have around.
    And remember that thanks to her, you are somehow great to.
    Wish you the best. ?????

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  70. Tara creel

    There are never the right words to speak after a death. But I will say this — you have been SO very blessed to have lived many many years of your life with such an incredible role model. It is very obvious you are her pride and joy and I hope you take some comfort in that <3

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  71. A Big Sis

    You’re 100% right: it’s not just about the immediate effects of losing someone! It does get harder and it does get better and it stays the same, all at once. I lost my brother when he was 18 (I was 21). Nearly 10 years later, I can be just fine one second and full-on panic attack bawling the next. But you do still have the memories to help! It’s comforting to know that the person you lost knew that you loved them. You can carry their good traits with you, and that can help too. My surviving brother and I use the memories we have of our brother to fuel our lives and drive us in the right direction.

    Remember the love and advice and care that your Nanz gave you and, even when it’s hard, know that you will always have that part of her that nothing can touch!

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  72. Molly

    I just lost my older brother to an overdose in September. I don’t know if I’m “dealing” or if I’m just surviving. I find routine with a comfort/self love day thrown in every once in a while has been allowing me to begin to process what this all means to me. I’m sorry for your loss and I hope those happy memories stick with you forever.

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  73. Megan

    Lauryn, I avoided reading this post because my grandpa wasnt doing well and I was hoping I wouldnt need to read it. He passed this morning and I want to thank you for being so honest and real. x

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  74. Jillian

    Lauren, I can fully relate to what you are describing. I lost my husband to cancer, Melanoma, that spread. He wasn’t just my husband, we were best friends through our whole relationship, which was a long one. We were together constantly, working together in our own businesses as well. Watching you and Michael on Snap sometimes reminds me of us. He was somewhat a panicky Susan too, and always loved to read. We didn’t find out what was up until things were extremely serious, and in a matter of months, he was gone. I have our kids to love an nurture in his absence.

    I’ve had the intense vivid dreams, night sweats, mixed raw emotions that come up out suddenly like strong tidal waves. Some days and times are easier. When life is busy, or crazy with other things SCREAMING for attention, it can be something that takes your mind off of it, or makes you wish they were there to talk to and walk with you through it. There’s no easy answers, I haven’t found any. It’s day by day, moment by moment. A song, a place, anything random can trigger a memory and emotion, which can be inconvenient at times. I don’t hide the emotion from my kids, I let them know I’m having a moment where I really miss their father. Taking care of them and myself is my primary focus.

    The last two months have been hard. Trying to make Thanksgiving a great family event, while at times having a hard time feeling much gratitude in those moments. We had our Christmas Traditions, but now we’re keeping some and making new ones. I miss him everyday, sometimes it shows more outwardly than other times. I know what he would want for us, and thinking about that helps. When a sad memory hits, sometimes it strangely also brings a smile associated with random memories as well. It can be very bittersweet at times.

    Reading does help, and exercise helps to clear your head. Surrounding yourself with friends and family who truly care about you is important. I’ve had some people say the craziest shit, and I’ve had to make difficult decisions to distance myself from a few of those people as well, for my family’s wellbeing. This becomes something that you always have, you learn to live with it the best you can, honor it in the moments you want to, cry about it when you need to. The time spent with the person you loved and lost will always be a part of your life and story, no one can ever take that away from you. Day by Day you continue writing the rest of the pages of your story, and while I don’t live in the past, I do like to be mindful of the person he was and how he inspired and impacted my life.

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  75. Angie

    Thanks for keeping it real as always! Love your advice about books- reading is SO therapeutic. Lots of love to you and anyone else missing a piece of their heart this holiday season, and beyond. <3

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  76. Katie Dudley

    This one brought on the tears. I feel you. My Gram was literally my best friend. When I was in high school I would wake up super early on Friday mornings to pack my car before school so when the final bell rang I could hop in my car and drive the 2 hours to spend the weekend with my Gram. Our girls weekends are my fondest memories. I too have been having dreams of her recently. They will be an entire weekend from start to finish. I wake up so happy and then I remember the reality…she has been gone for 4 years. It truly doesn’t get easier. Years from now you will smell her perfume walking down the street. You will think of a laugh you shared. Last week ‘Goodnight Irene’ (that was her name) randomly played from my iPhone. I was driving and had to pull over I was crying so hard. I totally understand you. It feels like the biggest hole…one that will never be filled. Just know you are not alone.

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  77. Ashley

    I really needed this post. I lost my dad suddenly a few weeks ago, only 4 months before my wedding. This Xmas was one of the hardest days of my life. I can only imagine what my wedding will be like…

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  78. Mary

    You have have the perfect platform that most of us don’t have to discuss this topic. Many of us just sit here silently waiting for someone else to start the conversation. We appreciate everything you discuss on here. THANKS for letting us in…

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  79. Christie

    Wow. So honest and real. Happy holidays and best wishes to any one struggling through this holiday season with any pain or sadness. And thanks Lauryn for sharing, what a powerful post, we all appreciate everything you share and you’re so right – many people are going through the same thing xx

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  80. Becki

    I can’t describe how much I agree with you. It’s been almost 10 years and I miss my grandmother more every day than I could have possibly imagined. It took me so long to overtly grieve that others thought there was something wrong with me. There wasn’t – I just couldn’t process everything all at once. Thanks so much for sharing your struggles with the Nanz dying – it makes me feel a lot better about my situation. Nice to know there are others who struggle with similar issues.

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  81. Paige @ Healthy Hits the Spot

    Lauryn, My heart is so with you. I just read about your grandmas passing – catching up on posts. I’m so sorry. Thank you for this post… My mom was diagnosed with cancer in Feb, and we’re not sure how long she’s going to be with us. It’s so scary. But reading posts like this (& the comments) encourage me and let me know that it’ll be okay. It won’t – because it’ll be hard – but it will, and I’ll be able to keep going. I just want to say thank you for this post, and I also want to let you know that I’m thinking of you. I loved the video of your grandma so much. Thanks for sharing. Love, Paige

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Thank you so much Paige. I am so sorry to hear about your mom’s diagnosis. I’m e-mailing you now.xx

  82. Megan

    “If someone close to me has a death, I always make it a point to ask months/years down the line how they’re coping? ” This is so thoughtful and sweet yet too uncommon. So often people are afraid to ask or too uncomfortable. Posts like these keep this blog so genuine and meaningful, which is tough to find in a blogger. I love it when you discuss real issues, real topics. You’ve used your platform to cover so many topics that could be considered less than pleasant, but to me this allows us to get to know you better, and it keeps things interesting. Ultimately, I just really enjoy the realness. If I can’t relate, I become more informed and educated, and if I can relate, it gives me a connection and makes me feel like I’m not alone. It’s also really nice to feel like you trust us as your readers and can be honest about whats going on in your life rather than covering it up and giving us a false image. We care about you!! <3 Thank you for this post, Lauryn. Wishing you the best of luck in coping with this xx

    Reply
  83. Alexandria

    Hey Lauryn – never in a thousand years did I think I’d be commenting on this blog. It’s usually a guilty pleasure I keep to myself, but I feel compelled to reach out to you on this one.

    I lost my dad to cancer when I was 18 years old. He was my best friend and my go-to source for guidance, questions, funny stories, pick-me-ups, you name it. He always knew the right thing to say and could make anyone a friend in 60 seconds. I’m 27 now and I still miss him badly, especially when times are tough. I sometimes tell stories about him to strangers as if he’s still around, because he was a wild guy and I don’t want to explain that he’s gone – I just want to tell the story and let him live around me again for a moment. I use storytelling to cope. I’m also not afraid to bring up my dad – the funny things he did, the wisdom and advice he offered, who he was as a person. It’s not a downer because I don’t associate his stories with his death. They’re the same stories any person would tell about a family member they loved, and they’re just as valuable.

    Grief never ends because love never ends. Sheryl Sandberg mentioned this in her essay on Facebook when her husband passed (highly recommended reading), and I think it’s an important lesson to accept. You will always miss your Nanz and I will always miss my dad. It is a part of loving them. Their birthdays will always be their birthdays, and there will always be unanswered questions for simple things – a favorite fruit, a childhood toy, how they rocked a baby to sleep.

    I suppose if there were any advice for you here, it’d be to continue to honor the Nanz in your day-to-day life and on the blog. She doesn’t have to disappear and she shouldn’t – keep sharing her stories, recipes, beauty secrets, etc whenever you feel inspired to or miss her especially. It will be hard, but it will also feel better in the end.

    Wishing you well,
    xo Alexandria

    Reply
  84. Kristina

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Lauryn and thank you for this post. My Dad passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack on my birthday this past August. I really appreciate your realness and I’m hoping to find some helpful advice myself in the comments. The holidays this year were very sad and I often found myself in the bathroom at parties just trying to hold back from crying as all I could think about during the “cheery,” time was my Dad. I definitely lost a piece of myself when he passed and haven’t felt whole or like myself since.

    I’m getting married in June and at this time I’m dreading the emotions that I know that I’ll be dealing with having him missing on that day. Any advice on how you dealt with your grandmothers missing presence on our special day would be greatly appreciated.?

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  85. grace

    Hi Lauryn! I’ve been a long time reader and admirer of your blog. This post really struck me because you brought up something that has been so incredibly hard for to deal with and you nailed it right on the head! TIME!
    My mom passed away a year ago, and I think the hardest thing for me has been support. It’s almost as if no one wants to talk about it, or now that its been a year, it’s “old news”, done, something I’ve must have overcome and dealt with by now.
    I don’t know how to deal with death, and i feel like the people around me don’t either, which I can respect. However I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciated that you recognized the time situation – a year, a few years down the line, it’s a different feeling but it really helps people just ask and again coming from someone a year down the line, I just really appreciate that there is SOMEONE out there who recognizes that!
    Thanks for being the best, and sending all my love your way.
    Xo Grace

    Reply
    1. Karyn

      Hi Grace 🙂 I lost my mom in June 2016 from breast cancer. I found out she had it and 2wks later she was gone. One of the best books I have found is “Motherless Daughters”. Such an eye opener for me and I am not stranger to grief! Lost my dad in a car accident when I was 9yrs old. Another great resource has been the.she.is.project.org. I published my story there recently and found it refreshing and freeing to be open, honest and raw during this time of grief. Anyways hope that helps! Wish you all the best and hope your heart is filled with joy as she looks upon you 😉
      Karyn xx

  86. Andrea de la Torre

    I loved this post. and love you. You are so strong and brave to talk about this as openly as you do, and to go on with your life doing as many things as you do, feeling this kind of grief. Ive been there and personally i didn´t have as much strength as you do, even though i wish i did. So stay strong, but also give yourself a break. as many breaks as often as you need. Thats super important during this process. The more you get it out of your system and your head, the better you´ll feel. Cry when you need to, talk about it, or dont. Find your quiet spaces, do whatever makes you feel calm… I cant say you ever stop missing them, but the sweats and nightmares do stop. The empty feeling in your heart does start to go away… and youre left with the beautiful memories and the feeling of being the luckiest human to have been a part of their journey. And you start to understand that they left their body to go on with their path, but their soul is truly still with you. I recommend a book by Brian Weiss… Many lives, Many masters.

    and im up for more posts like these. We all love talking about outfits, makeup, workouts, beauty tips, relationships, etc… but this and other tough subjects are also very real parts of life, and i think we definitely need more spaces like this one to talk about them. Love you.

    Reply
  87. Caroline Rose

    I never leave comments on blogs, but this time I am. Lauryn, I just want to let you know how grateful I am for this post. My best friend/Nana passed away unexpectedly spring 2015, and it has left me a broken girl. She was the most fiercely independent, strong willed, opinionated woman I have ever known and when people say that I remind them of her, I take it as a true compliment. She was the one who introduced my little tomboy ass to fashion and class, beating into me (sometimes literally) the importance of keeping a fresh mani & pedi and good clean skin. I always loved seeing your Nanz in your snaps and your blog, as she reminded me so much of my Nana, so much so that I actually avoided all your media for awhile after my Nana passed, as just watching you and the Nanz discuss nail polish colors one day left me bawling like a crybaby while waiting in a Starbucks drive through. (Super awkward cashing out, let me tell ya.) Your Nanz was a woman of class and style that just glowed, and I know you have made her so proud. I’m rambling, so, anyway, thanks. Thanks for sharing your Nanz with us, and thanks for sharing the thoughts above with us. I’m definitely going to check out ‘What Remains.” – Lauryn, I truly wish you the best 2017 you could possibly have, one filled with a happy marriage, much success, and lots of healing in just the right parts of your heart. ~ Caroline

    Reply
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  90. Lacy

    I lost my Nan in 2016, the end of this month will mark a year. I feel like I am just now entering my true grief from losing her. Every day when I would be in the car is when I would call her, and every day in the car I still have that feeling to do so. Someone suggested I call other people when I get that feeling. I try that, but it isn’t the same of course. So recently someone said to just talk to her anyways, so I am trying that.

    I guess my point is, I don’t think a loss that big gets easier, I think we just eventually learn how to cope with it better. Nothing is better than having a Nan. I really enjoy your blog, thanks for sharing, even the personal hard to talk about things. You’re not alone!

    Reply
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