Closure, Acceptance and Gratitude

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated July 25, 2014

Since my Grandfather passed away, I really haven’t felt like myself. I spent a long time being sad and stuck in a fog over what happened, and I knew that if I stayed feeling that way it wasn’t going to be beneficial for me. So, last week, I went to as many AA meetings as possible, and this week I am feeling so much better and refreshed. Now, I am moving forward with a much different outlook on losing my grandfather and I am grateful for that.

I can finally say that I am in a spot where I am ok. For example, I mentioned before how I used to call my grandfather every Sunday, and when I went to call him out of habit the Sunday after he passed, I broke down. This Sunday though, I did the exact same thing by mistake, but instead of breaking down, I smiled. To me, that showed some major growth in such a short period of time. Right after making that attempted call, I got my family together and we went over to my grandfather’s grave and played one of his favorite games. It was a gorgeous day out and being there didn’t feel morbid, but instead it felt nice to be with everyone, including my grandfather.

The message in that moment for me was to stay positive as I move forward, but to keep his memories alive as I do so. At his funeral, I said, “today isn’t a sad day, it’s a day to celebrate his life and it’s time to pick up our heads and party the way Grandpa would,” and I meant that! He shaped me in so many ways, including in ways that will help me move forward even after his death.

To help myself stay on an upward path, I attended as many AA meetings as possible (like I already mentioned) and went into my schedule and removed some of the unnecessary bulk that would tie me up from what was really important in my day – my family. If there is one thing I have learned from the loss of my grandfather, it is to treasure every moment I have with my family, and continue to make as many memories as possible. That is what life is all about – not the money, the luxurious things, etc.

As I continue to build up some closure on my grandfather’s passing, I realize how much of it goes back to my addiction. When I was addicted, I would dwell on my past and keep using. Now, if I stay focused on the “shoulda-coulda-woulda’s” with my grandfather, I know that I will put myself on a path to destruction again. So, I’m taking the skills I have learned in recovery to help me move forward and I am seeing success as a result.

Life is too short, and sometimes something major will happen and stop you in your tracks. It’s almost like hitting a rock bottom because you find yourself at a crossroads where you can either pick yourself up and move on or get consumed by what happened in your life. My grandfather’s passing has only made me stronger now, but only because I choose to let it – and that, I am grateful for.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.