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It was just a normal night as a fifth grader. I was sitting in the den in my house and my mom said she had to go somewhere, and I wasn’t worried and didn’t care at all but maybe I should have. I was playing Roblox in the den when she said that she had to go somewhere, however I didn’t think anything of it but the next morning before I went to school my mom and dad told me the news.

My mom said, “Emily, can you get off FaceTime please? I need to tell you some sad news.”

I said, “Yes, I’ll tell my friend that I’ll talk to her later.”

My mom said, “Last night Grandpa passed away.” I felt empty. My mom asked, “ Do you want me to take you to school instead of riding the bus so then you can calm down a little bit from crying?”

I said, ”Yes, please.”

My mom was supposed to go to Fargo for a work trip but she ended up going to my grandma’s house to help with the funeral preparation. I cried for half of the day when I was at school. I had to go to school though until the weekend and then I got Monday off because I was at the funeral on Monday and the funeral was 3 hours away so I wouldn’t make it back in time. Then, after the funeral I went home, and then on Tuesday I went back to school. I had to adapt to this new situation.

It was really hard to focus because I would think about my grandpa a lot. I also became more emotional than I was before. Throughout my life I will most likely feel sad on March 1st, because it will be the memorial of how many years ago my grandpa passed away. There are so many emotions that I felt: two were sadness, and anger. I felt sad because my grandpa meant a lot to me and would always find a way to put a smile on my face. I also felt anger because I knew that feeling wouldn’t be there anymore of him making me smile every time I saw him. I have lots of memories with my grandpa and here are a few. My grandpa would come to my soccer games with my grandma whenever they could and it would always make me so happy. I remember when I was at the hospital there was a nurse whose name was Emily and she took me out to the hallway where they had snacks and different kinds of drinks, and she let me pick some to eat and drink while I was in the hospital room with my grandpa.

I still think about him every day and tear up a lot, but there was something I learned from this too. I learned that you should not be afraid to show your feelings, because if you show your feelings then people will understand you better. If I’m crying about my grandpa I find one of my friends and talk to them about it, and it can be hard because it’s really sad, but it has always helped through the worst feelings. Through this time of my sadness when I would talk to my friends I realized how I wasn’t the only person going through grandparents passing away and the sadness. I have been adjusting to this new situation since he passed away. Sometimes it is still really hard to think about.

My grandpa had cancer so he would have his checkups and I remember being scared to see him for the first time in the hospital with tubes in him when I was probably about eightish years old. His passing affected my family a lot and it was very tough to go through, but it taught me to not be embarrassed of my emotions.

© Emily Christopherson. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.