Hannah G. shared a letter in the Remembering those we lost/Grief group 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Dear Matante Elaine,
From the moment I was born you were mine. My parents had chosen you to be my godmother, a duty which you took very seriously. When I look back you were always there for every one of my milestones; my Baptism, my first few words, my first steps, my first haircut, my Confirmation and First Communion, my high school graduation. You were even there when I got my acceptance letter to St. Joseph’s College. When I moved into St. Joe’s you took me under your wing and made sure I always knew that I had a safe place to go when I wanted to get off campus. You enjoyed spending time with me and even invited me on outings like going blueberry picking with you, your daughter, and your granddaughter. You became my second mom when my mom was 7 hours away.
And then unexpectedly you passed. There was no warning. There was no chance to say goodbye. You were gone. I remember where I was when I got the call. My entire floor had just gone to a trampoline park and we were hungry so we went to get ice cream. I saw my mom had texted me but thought nothing of it when she said “call me.” My sister texted me and told me to call mom. I texted back “why? Is it an emergency?” She responded “yes.” I excused myself from the group and ran to my RA’s car and called my mom. I could hear on the other end she was crying. She told me that you had passed and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. I crumbled in a ball. I remember my mom asking “Hannah are you ok?” I don’t remember what I said. I remember my RA, a guy I didn’t know very well, and the girls on my floor coming back to the car and finding me weeping. My RA asked what was wrong and all I could get out between sobs were “SHE. IS. GONE.” It didn’t take long for denial and then shock and then loneliness to set in. I remember after the funeral we walked the middle aisle to the back of the church as a family. I remember everyone grabbing onto each other’s hand, but I had one hand free. The hand that you would have held if you were still alive. I didn’t know how I was going to live one day without you, let alone 8 years.
Grief still steals the air right out of my lungs sometimes, but I like to think that since you have gone I have been managing my grief and learning to breathe again. In the 8 years since you have been gone I have been working to build and live a life that you would be proud of. There are so many life milestones that I wish you could’ve been here for. Still I have to believe that you’ve seen them or at least know about them. Let’s start from the beginning. I graduated from St. Joseph’s with a bachelor’s degree in theology with minors in secondary education and psychology. From there I moved to Southern Maine and started my first job working for the Diocese. 4 years later I am still working there and I love what I get to do and who I get to meet through this job. Shortly after I graduated undergrad I decided to apply for grad school and was accepted to Felician University’s Master of Arts in Religious Education program. In the middle of this the pandemic happened. I began counseling in order to heal wounds from the past. And oh what a year 2022 was. I graduated with my Master’s and our family had a party to celebrate. I know you would’ve been there if you could’ve been. Family was your number one priority. I also went on a service trip to Kentucky to work with the Christian Appalachian Project in honor of you and all my loved ones who have passed away because you all were people who served others with love. We were doing home repair. And oh my gosh that trip was probably the best thing I did this past summer. I learned and experienced so much. I know if you were here today we would’ve gotten together to discuss it over coffee and donuts. I am so grateful to God for giving me that opportunity. I have no idea what 2023 holds (maybe you do….I don’t know how that works), but I hope that each day I do something that makes you proud.
This letter is getting long, so I’ll conclude with some things that I always want you to know.
I celebrate because you lived.
I still grieve because you died.
I am still impacted by your love and kindness.
I will always remember you.
I wish you were here.
I love you still.
Aww hannah, This is so sweet. I am so sorry for the loss of you Godmother. I am certain she is watching over you and she is so proud of you- not just as far as your career/education but simply who you are as a person. I am sure she is watching down on you and smiling every day for the last 8 years. Keep making her proud. You are such a bright light. – Lauren
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I’m so sorry that you lost your godmother I’m sure she’s happy that you’re still sharing the memories with her and that she’s glad the person you became to be today. I’m glad that you had someone to impact your life and you lived by that.
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