Ellen Jaworsky

Oh, sweetie, this is so hard. I know how much Grammy meant to you, and how much you meant to her. You’re going to have a lot of sad feelings over the next few weeks, but I want you to know one thing: Grandma will always be alive, as long as you remember her every moment of every day and literally never think of anything else.

Do you think you can do that?

She really is still with us, you know. That’s why you need to hold on to those memories and never let them go. Just think about them over and over and over and over. Because if you don’t, her soul will die. Forever. So remember the time she took you and your big brother to the zoo, or that Christmas she made us all matching socks, because I promise you, the moment you stop obsessively recalling these nice memories is the moment your nana’s spirit is extinguished completely and she never comes back.

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Dream sweet dreams of Grammy every night, okay? You’ll essentially be murdering her if you don’t.

You’re a big girl, and I know you’ll always cherish the time you spent with her. And as long as you do, she keeps living on inside each of us instead of disappearing without a trace, as if she never even existed. Poor old Grandma, erased from our lives, permanently. So, put everything out of your mind except for Grandma—loving, funny, caring Grandma. She’ll be right there beside you provided that you keep her in your memory and in all your waking thoughts. All of them. Always.

Just obsessively fixate on Grammy’s voice to the point that everything else loses all meaning, and she will always be here.

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I know we went to Grandma’s funeral and you said goodbye to her, but she isn’t really gone; she’s still in your heart. And the only way to make sure she never truly dies, that she isn’t just swallowed up in the sands of time, is to stare at old photos of her for hours on end, telling yourself, “Grandma is alive. Grandma is alive. It’s up to me to keep Grandma alive.” This is your responsibility now. At school, at the park, or during soccer practice, hold that photo in front of you and say the words.

Otherwise, you’ll be no better than a killer who strangles Grammy in cold blood with her bare hands.

I know you can do this. Just think of all the wonderful memories we have of her, and will continue to have unless for even one second your mind wanders to something else. Remember, if you stop thinking of her, I’ll lose her, too. All of us will. She’s my mommy, just like I’m your mommy, and I don’t want her to vanish into nothingness for the rest of time. Please don’t take her away from us. Keep her in your thoughts.

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She lived a good life. And if you do your part, if you never let yourself think of a single thing aside from her, if you bring her up in every conversation you have, she will continue to live on. It’s all on you. Don’t cry, sweetie. Just obsessively fixate on Grammy’s voice to the point that everything else loses all meaning, and she will always be here.

Your mind is drifting. You thought about something else for a second there, didn’t you? I could see it in your eyes. Remember what happened to Grandpa? You went off to summer camp and forgot about him for a minute and then he slipped away forever. You obliterated his soul for all eternity, and I don’t want the same thing to happen to Grandma.

Stop listening to me. You should be thinking about Grandma right now. Can’t you hear her crying out to you, begging you to keep her alive? It’s so dark where she is. Just think about her, scared and all alone out there, grasping desperately for her granddaughter’s hand and drifting away. That’s how you should always remember her, from now until the day you die.

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You won’t let her down, will you, sweetheart?