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My Grandma Died I Can't Cope


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TRIGGER WARNING: Grieving sickness, 5u1c1d3, 53lf h4rm, depression, swearing.
I need help.
I have no idea where to start, so let me start here by introducing myself.
I'm Erin, I'm a 13 year old Australian girl, an only child with overprotective parents. I was homeschooled 6 years, and recently started school in Year 7. Previously, I did have issues and some depression, but I was light-hearted, friendly, cheerful and pretty bubbly. I embarrassed myself daily at school, but didn't really mind, because I could always do better the next day.
Then, on the 31st of August (actually make that sometime at 2 am on the 1st of September) my dad's mother, my grandmother, died of a heart aneurysm.
Let me share a bit of history about me and my grandmother.
When I was born, my grandmother and grandfather decided, since they loved golf and apparently Chinese grandparents and parents choose the kids' future careers. I was not happy with this. I wanted to choose my own path. Eventually, I told this to my grandparents, along with a lot of resentment for them forcing me to practice golf when I was 4-5 years old even though I hated it so much.
My grandmother was a rock of support. She defended me from my parents and grandfather even when I did SO much wrong, even when I was a total asshole, even when I refused to eat the dinners she cooked, even when I stalked off annoyed, even when I rejected every attempt she made to be my friend. I never seem to forget and I always resent people for a long time. So I was still mad about the golf thing, which was a few years ago now. I was bitter and grumpy and annoying as anything, and hated spending time with my grandparents.
God, I regret that.
Forward on. August 2021.
We met at a park. Remember, COVID was on, so we couldn't go in their house. I didn't want to be fussed over and I was in a bad mood. So me and my mum sat in the car for about an hour while my dad spent time with them. I was cold and grumpy and pissed and feeling like crap that day. So I started spamming my dad. Idiotic stuff. Stuff like characters from my favourite book series Wings of Fire. Then my dad handed his phone to my grandmother who was being silly and annoyed me at the time. So I kept spamming, and sent, as a joke, not real AT ALL I swear on my life "DEATHBRINGER IS COMING FOR YOU". Deathbringer is a Wings of Fire character. It was stupid. I didn't mean it. When they finally came, I ran from the car and across the field, and sat there waiting until my grandparents left so I didn't have to hug them.
A few days later, my grandmother died.
I fucking remember every detail. It's hard to forget. I fricking wish I could forget!
It was a normal night. 2 am. My mum was trying to sleep in her bed. My dad was snoring in his bed. I was up in my bed, flicking through my phone writing a story (Yes, I'm obsessed with writing books, it's my goal to be an author one day, and I'm determined to accomplish that). Also, yeah, I stay up late.
Then I hear my mum and dad talking in the lounge room, lights out there flicked on, my dad rushing out the door. I called out, "What's happening?" Answer: There's something wrong with Grandma.
I started to get worried, but not too worried, because she was okay last time I saw her, except for a tiny bit of back pain. So I send her a text saying I hope she'll be okay and everything. And then the damn text doesn't go through, so I go on my computer to email it. Then I hear a whimper from my mum, out there, and my fingers end up freezing on the keyboard just as I click send, and then I'm like, "What? What is it?" Answer: "Grandma's dead."
I don't say anything. Then I'm like, shaking so hard like leaf, and I call out to my mum who's in the lounge room, "What? What do you mean, she's dead?" My mum says, "She had a heart attack. Poor Grandma." And starts crying. I can't cry. I'm frozen.
So then I log off my computer and start shaking like goddamn hell, and then grab my shoes and phone and then bolt out the door into the freezing wintery street and start running to her house, which is down my street, down another street, up a REALLY steep super long hill even cars find it hard to climb, another long road, another road and another then you're there. And then I start crying. I'm freezing and it's night and I'm alone but I don't give a ****. I start screaming and crying and breaking up but I don't stop.
Long story short, my dad found me about 2 roads from her house, and we're both crying and I'm screaming that I'm sorry. Why am I sorry? Pieces together in my twisted head - I killed her. Remember the Deathbringer text message?
So we get there - police, authorities, ambulance. Lady says "I'm so sorry for your loss". I'm like "What the ****? You're probably not even going to cry about this. You're not sorry. You never met her. You'll go on and be happy tomorrow while I break down and shatter". I didn't say it though. But I thought it. Cold? I know. Sorry. Then I see her body, pale and unmoving, on the floor, and I collapse to my knees, clamp my hand over my damn mouth, and start crying and crying and crying. Then the authorities are like "Please leave and go in that room, no, don't go over to her, you can't stay and watch, let alone hug her". Not that I wanted to hug a dead body I wouldn't even hug when she was living.
And so it goes. After that, I'm not the same.
The books I write are all dark, characters dealing with grief and death and loneliness and being broken and their minds all twisted and shattering. Don't get me wrong, it helps. Characters going through worse than I am is great. It helps. And then I can make them better. Even though I never will be.
Sometimes I sing her favourite Chinese song, and end up crying. But I love that song. I miss her. I never got to say goodbye. One time I sang that song to my dad, but then he started crying so much I didn't again.
I feel like I can't say anything to my dad - twice I've tried, and both has ended in him crying. I need to look after him. I can't let him cry. I want him to be okay. I don't want to remind him and make him sad. As for my mum, she wasn't on the best of terms with my grandmother either, and wasn't blood-related. I don't think she'd understand. I mean, she would. But she wouldn't know how much it hurts.
At night, I cry to sleep, staring at the unicorn she made me last birthday. It hurts. It feels like my heart's been ripped from my chest. I'm broken. Sometimes I even cry at school. I used to be bright and happy - maybe even naive - but now I'm different. I fake happiness. I fake being bubbly and joking. I fake being normal. While constantly I'm being eaten up by a void and I'm breaking until I can't breathe. I've taught myself to cry silently, even if I'm in the same room as people. Just as long as they can't see my face, I'm okay. I can cry.
I'm depressed - One of my friends said I wasn't which really pissed me off, she doesn't know I'm like this, but seriously. You don't tell someone they aren't depressed. - and recently decided that physical pain is better than emotional. I've started to enjoy wiping away blood, and using scissors to scrape my skin red. It's only drawn tiny amounts of blood like 3 times when I snipped away a bit of my arm, so I'm not sure if it's counted as self-harm. But I know it's wrong. And I'm definitely suicidal. The amount of times I've wanted to die, just to see her again. The amount of times I've hung off a balcony, held a knife, then been too much of a coward to kill myself in the end.
I know there's something wrong with me. You cannot believe how broken I am inside. So many nights I have paced my bedroom, holding my head, silently crying, hissing at myself "Don't get help don't get help don't get help". Because getting help will upset my parents. I need to stay strong. For them, for my grandfather. If there's something wrong with me they'll waste their time and be sad. If I ask to go to a counsellor or a therapist my mum will be disappointed - "Kids shouldn't go to therapists!" - my dad will cry more, and my grandfather will be sad. So I have to hide it.
But I can't I can't I can't anymore.
For nine months I've forced myself to, and it's just too hard I need help but I can't!
I need to calm down. I swear.
Okay, so let me introduce the new me.
I'm Erin, I'm fourteen (Well I will be in less than 4 hours, it's my birthday tomorrow, the first birthday without my grandmother to cook curry puffs and hug me and make me a stupid sparkly hat and smile and take a photo with me and tell me she loves me and be there for me and hug me tightly even when me the stroppy teen wouldn't hug her back). I'm a girl, I go to school, I'm depressed, grief-ridden, suicidal yet too cowardly to commit yet thinks about it constantly, does self-harm, moody, lashes out, and can't cope anymore.
I need help. I don't know what to do.
I can't do this.
I miss her.
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Dear Erin,

I am so sorry for your devastating loss. Please know that you are not alone and there is help. Grief is overwhelming. It’s normal to feel raw and anger and sadness and deep sorrow and pain.

 It might help to talk to a grief counsellor or join a grief support group in the community. I hope I trust a teacher or your parent will help connect you with the right people. There’s also a lot of support online and different social media channels. 

Please know we’re here for you. Thinking about you. 

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Valerie Lockhart

Dear Erin,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I was close to my grandmother and watched her take her last breath. You are a good writer. I too started writing at a young age. Today, I'm the publisher and executive editor of a newspaper. It seems like you have a lot of things bottled up inside. First, please be assured that you are not the cause of your grandmother's death. Your thoughts and words are not what make people sick, and they don’t make people die. Use your gift of writing to pour out your heart in a letter to your grandmother and/or your parents. Write about what was your most cherished memory of your grandmother? Write about her commendable qualities. Which ones would you like to imitate in your life?Perhaps, you can place the letter in her casket or read it out loud at the funeral. I had guilty feelings at the death of my mother. What helped me to cope is praying to Jehovah God. The Bible says: “Throw your burden on Jehovah, and he will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22) I've found that prayer is not merely an emotional crutch. It is real communication with the God who “comforts us in all our trials.”—2 Corinthians 1:3, 4. I hope that you will find peace and comfort during this difficult time. 

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