Aloha ‘Oe Friday Honoring Those Who Have Passed

My grandfather Russell Lukela David.

My grandfather Russell Lukela David.

This week I has been a tough week for a lot of people in my life due to losing a loved one.  A friend of mine lost her sister, and also a classmate of mine who lost her dad.  Today I remember the most dearest man in my life who raised my sister and I my grandfather Russell Lukela David.  He died on July 15, 2013 at Castle Medical Center on Oahu.  He passed only 5 months after my grandmother died.

I still remember that day so clear when my sister called me on the phone and said “Ku’u you better get here soon, I think grandpa is going soon”.  When I got to the ICU unit my grandfather was unconscious and on a machine to help him breath.  A year prior to my grandfather’s death I volunteered at a hospice program and one of the things I learned was that the last function to go before a person dies is their hearing.  While my grandfather lay in his bed one by one we all came next to his bed side to say our last good byes.  When my sister and I talked with my grandpa we expressed how much we loved him and how grateful we were for all he had done for us.  I also told him not to be afraid.  As my sister and I said these things to him all of a sudden a tear fell from his closed eye and roll down his cheek.  It brought us to tears knowing that his body was slowly slipping away but his spirit was very much alive in there, and he could hear everything that we were saying.  We watched the heart monitor as his heart slowly faded away.

It’s true what they say about grieving that it comes in waves.  After the death of my grandmother I think I cried at least once a day for about a month.  Slowly my crying spells happened less often.  Since my grandpa died only 5 months later it shook my world again for another couple of months.  I did attend some group counseling sessions on grieving, and my family and I have also attended special events put on by the hospice organization that worked with my grandparents.  The most helpful thing that one of my friends told me as I went through my grieving is to give myself permission to cry.  What was helpful for me was reading books on grief and dying.  I even read the bible it gave me hope knowing that my grandparents truly are in a better place.  Stay connected to those around you and who will support you in your grieving process.  Don’t forget to remember the good times and share those memories with others.  It brings such joy to my heart and my family when we sit around and talk about funny things that my grandparents did and said.

The signs of an unhealthy grieving process is when you have disconnected yourself from the world.  If you have trouble with sleeping, eating, or disruption in daily activities due to episodes of depression seek out professional help.