My first experience with death was when my paternal grandfather passed. But I wasn’t close to my dad growing up, so I hadn’t seen my grandfather since I was really young. My second experience was when my maternal grandmother passed. She was instrumental in raising me, so her death hit me pretty hard.
Before she died in 2015, we believed our family was invincible. Death was a foreign concept to us. But after her passing, everything changed. I went from being unacquainted with death to seeing it often. In less than two years after my grandmother’s death, I lost my great aunt, two friends, and, most recently, my aunt. My aunt’s passing came unexpectedly, but I was fortunate enough to spend significant time with her in her last days.