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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

4 Year Anniversary Since Nan's Death

I love this Young Wicked song. I can relate to this song for the most part.

Four years ago, on January 25, 2013, Nan's spirit began a new journey. I remember I went to China Town that day and then visited Christine. My parents didn't want me to watch Nan die (looking back, I wish I stayed) and before I trekked to Philadelphia to go to China Town, I said my goodbyes to Nan. We hugged tightly and cried. At that point, Nan was out of it because her lung capacity was diminishing. She had been failing for the past few days and each night I spent the night with her. I didn't want to let her go. I told her how much I loved her. Then I was off to China Town in the blizzard we were having. I spent the day in the fog. Mom called me at 4 AM the next morning to tell me Nan had passed overnight, before midnight.

The year following her death was difficult and honestly, it doesn't really get much easier. When I was reading Leigh's blog a few weeks ago on the anniversary of her loss, her entry made me think. In her entry she wrote about how she thought of her life as if the deceased was still living, and while we must never forget our dead loved ones, we are the ones living now as our own person. It hit me because I was close to Nan and I know some of my decisions of late have been based on what Nan and I used to talk about. Sometimes I will think, "if Nan was here, she would advise this" or "she wouldn't advise that." While I will NEVER forget the things she taught me, I should think of my decisions as me as the sole person that made that decision or did that amazing thing. 

I know Nan would be proud of me if she was still living. I know she would be cheering me on in regards to Canada, but I also know if she was still here she would tell me to live my own life and to follow my heart. I bet she is shouting that from the heavens because she always said that while she was on Earth. However, I will still remember these moments and all of the other wonderful moments I have had with Nan for 23.5 years.

Nan, Mrs. Zbyvatel, and me when I was 5. Nan housed an exchange student from Slovakia for 5 years.

Nan, Daniel (the foreign exchange studen), and me before my fashion show. I was 9.

Nan and Wesley in 2007.


  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Now I know why you told me this is an emotional time for you. This is a beautiful tribute to your Nan. I can feel your pain as you continue to miss her four years after her death. I appreciated seeing these pictures that bring back memories of the good times you spent with Nan growing up.

    I never heard this song by Young Wicked and I enjoyed it. We all live with the fear of being alone but, if we remember the words spoken by his grandma in the song, we are never alone. We are surrounded by the love of those we loved.

    Live your own life and follow your heart wherever it might lead, and take comfort in knowing that your Nan is with you always. All you need to do is call.

    1. Hi, Shady,

      Young Wicked has become my favorite as of late. I like his style. I also really love "Gone" and you're right. We are never alone and those we love that have died are always with us. I know Nan protects me still, as I survived that one night and I am still alive. I always say, "I had Nan that night and she saved me."

      That's true, Shady. I am looking forward to seeing where my heart leads.

  2. Nan was special. I'm glad you have such good memories of her. I think your mom was right to encourage you to leave. If you had been there, it might have been harder for Nan to let go. Even if she was unconscious, she still might have heard your voice and your tears.


    1. Hi, Janie,

      I never thought of that before. An old friend of mine made me feel really guilty about not being there, but thinking back... you're right. Three nights in a row I stayed with Nan and slept by her. While I was there, she hung on. Maybe this eased her letting go for her new journey.