My Daily Journal in Federal Prison

Day 79

I lost a loved one yesterday when my wife’s grandmother passed away.  She was an outstanding and vibrant soul and the world is now a less vivid place.  Thankfully, she did not suffer and she had lived a long, prosperous life that was full of many joys and much happiness.  While her exact age was oft disputed, she was at least an octogenarian.

Her passing is significant within the context of my own incarceration for a number of reasons.  I did not know any of my own paternal or maternal grandparents; both of my parents were immigrants — as a result, I was estranged from my grandparents because of distance and, eventually, their passing.  For reasons I won’t get into here, I no longer have an existing relationship with any of my own blood relatives, including my immediate family.  On the other hand, my wife’s family had welcomed me as warmly and graciously as one of their own and my grandmother (by marriage) was certainly no exception.  I was always excited upon every expected visit — her stories were fascinating and her spirit was engaging.  Despite her age, she was without prejudice and she always reserved judgment until she understood all of the facts.  My arrest and incarceration was no exception — while my actions were not intended to be a test of anyone’s love or commitment, my own self worth was reaffirmed when not a single member of this family abandoned me.  If anything, they showered me with even more love and understanding.

This sad event was also significant in that it was the first loss of anyone that truly meant something to me and the first of which I had to mourn while behind bars.  It was also my wife’s first major loss and one that she would have to deal with without my physical support.  I am grateful that she is not without the love and support of her immediate family during this difficult and trying time.  While I regret not corresponding with my grandmother since my incarceration, I was thankfully able to visit with her just prior to my self surrender.

While you can never fully prepare yourself for the unfortunate and unexpected loss of a loved one, you can certainly soften the blow by never forgetting to say “I love you” while they are still here.


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