Gratitude & Heartbreak

My husband and I have been going through a lot financially lately. It seems every time we save up some money, a car breaks down or the pipes burst in our house. Lately, I’ve been so stressed out about these events that my addict brain started to believe that the universe was conspiring against us.

Sometimes, it takes an unrelated tragedy to help put things back into perspective.

I received the call on Wednesday. My grandfather was no longer responding to treatment for his pneumonia. His options were limited as he has COPD and pneumonia is often fatal. He chose to stop treatment and move forward with comfort care instead of being placed on a respirator. He was tired. He was at peace with his decision. He was ready, and we understood, but our hearts still shattered.

Yesterday, my family lost a remarkable man; my grandfather. We’ve always called him our gentle giant. Standing over 6 feet tall, he always seemed invincible – like our very own Superman. He was a veteran who would later own his own successful business. That business allowed him to retire early and travel with his wife of over 50 years. He worked hard and loved even harder. I think our mother said it best, “In the end, he may have had weak lungs, but he sure had a strong heart.”

When I woke up this morning, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and loss. I will feel the loss of my grandpa for a long time, but today I find comfort knowing that he is at peace, and was at peace the days prior to his passing as well.

I am especially grateful for my recovery today. I am grateful that I am able to fully participate in all aspects of my life – the good, the not-so-good and the heartbreaking. I am grateful I was able to visit my grandpa in the hospital, hug him, hold his hand one last time and tell him how much I love him and what a tremendous impact he has had on my life.

I find comfort knowing that my grandpa was proud of me for the decisions I have made in my life over the past 3 1/2 years. I am happy that communicating my past struggles with him opened up a dialogue between us that only deepened our bond.

I am grateful I am able to be there for my daughter to help her navigate her way through her feelings of loss and fear.

I am grateful I can be there for my mom, to help her where needed and hug her when words just won’t suffice.

When I was drinking, I was absent. Even when I showed up, I was never truly present for anyone but myself. Recovery has given me my life back and has allowed me the opportunity to be an active participant in the lives of those I love.

I am excited to go to my next Green Bay Packers game, surrounded by season ticket holders who have become like family through the years. I am excited to look up at the sky and know that my grandpa is watching with us from the best seat in the house!

My heart is full today.



13 thoughts on “Gratitude & Heartbreak

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  1. I am so very sorry for your loss, it sounds like you had a special relationship with your grandfather, and how wonderful that he had the opportunity to see you at your best and to be there with you these past years. Hug your mom and your daughter (as I’m sure you are already doing) and when you do, hug yourself a little back…take it easy and may his soul live on through you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiufl tribute you wrote and on how perspective. Wow it is so hard but things get overwhelming until something totally unexpected and then all those other things just feel less catastrophic

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate that. Thank you so much. He will be missed for a long time, by a lot of people. I think it’s such a beautiful reflection of his life – to know he was loved by so many!


  3. Hello V. I was browsing through posts here on WordPress when I came across yours. I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. I am happy to hear however that you are improving on your alcohol addiction. I am also happy to hear that you want to be there for your daughter and your mother, it shows you care and that you are a good person.

    V, do you know that you can do more than give your family hugs and words? You can do something that is much more powerful and much more effective, you can pray. When we begin a faithful walk with God and truly obey his commands, our prayers become powerful and effective. The bible says in James 5:16 “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results”. You can be that righteous person through which your family receives abundant blessings. You can be the one to lead them to God’s love. I honestly would like for you to give this idea a try.

    Say this prayer with me: “Father God, I thank you. I thank you for everything that you have done for me, those things that I am aware of, and those things that I am unaware of. Father I pray that you strengthen me and help me to walk with you. I commit my family into your hands Lord, Jesus please provide them with comfort and heal their hurt. Father, I want to be in a good standing with you. I want to pray effective prayers that bring results. However, I cannot do that without your help. So, help me Lord, heal me Lord, and direct me Lord, in Jesus name. I pray against every power, principalities or forces of darkness in high places that want to disrupt this prayer or stop me from receiving God’s blessings, I rebuke them in Jesus name, Amen.

    If you wish to start a relationship with God (if you do not already have one), here are the steps that I usually recommend:

    1) find a quiet space free from distractions, a place where you can pray.

    2) imagine that Jesus is in front of you, talk to him the way you will with a close friend. Tell him that you are ready to accept him, invite him to come into your life and become your lord and personal savior. Ask for forgiveness of past sins. Tell Jesus that you want to die to your old self and be reborn as a new creation in him. Pray that you inherit eternal life and the kingdom of God. Beware of sudden distractions when you pray, this is a trick the devil uses to stop us from having focused prayers. You might also get the feeling that God is not there or that you are simply wasting your time, this is another trick that the devil uses to discourage us from prayers.

    3) If you have any specific prayers, or something specific that you need, you can ask it in Jesus name, and God would attend to the prayers. God usually has three answers to prayers: Yes, Yes but wait, and No. God has a reason for every answer, and his answers are usually what is best for you. When you pray, you need to have faith that you will receive. God does not like it when we pray but doubt his ability to provide what we want for us. Lastly, prayers and faith without works wont bring results. E.g. If all a person does is prays and has faith that they would get a job, without actually applying to jobs, they WOULD NOT get a job. God does not work that way, God loves hard-working people, and God rewards hard-work. If all Christians had to do is pray, have faith, and stay home all day awaiting a blessing, Christians would be the laziest people on earth. LOL. Your part is to pray that God should fast-track your success, so that you recieve your blessings quicker than people who are relying on their own strength. Your blessings might also come in a bigger way. Remember to thank God when you get the answers to your prayers.

    4) Read the bible and obey it. You can find free bibles online. You can also find free bible apps on google play. Keep praying all the time and maintain a connection with God.

    5) Trials and tribulations may come your way, sometimes these are designed to test your faith, and sometimes they are simply tricks from the devil to get you to denounce the religion. At times like this, you pray to God, you fast, and you maintain consistency in the faith, this way, God would lift you above all trials and afflictions.

    6) You can join a community of bible believing Christians. Having friends who are believers would keep you on track, and the conversations about the religion would be beneficial to your faith.

    7) Get a water baptism, and pray to God so that you can receive a baptism in the holy spirit.

    8) Begin to educate yourself on the things of the lord. Read books from ministers who have practised deliverance, healing, seeing in the spirit, and other gifts. Read about how they got these anoiting and learn more about the workings of the spiritual realm through Christian books.

    (The things written in this list are not to be followed in any particular order. The most important thing is to begin by asking for a forgiveness of sins, confess Jesus as your personal lord and saviour, and pray for eternal life. You can mix up the order of the rest. However, I strongly suggest you do them all simultaneously).

    Remember that God loves you. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. If you also need to talk, I am here for you. I hope you give God a try. Have a great day ahead 🙂


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