The Hardest Part

My grandpa passed away this week. It was expected – I’ve been able to prepare myself a bit, and I got to write a goodbye letter that my Dad read to him a few weeks ago – but of course it was still really hard. The hardest part of Peace Corps for me has been being apart from friends and family, which was never clearer to me than it was this week.

I’m used to feelings of sudden disappointment that come up when a project fails or when I have a negative experience, and I don’t like those either. But being so far away from home, without the ability to visit more than once, is just a constant feeling of distance and disconnection. Skype and email and other fantastic technologies do wonders to make that feeling of distance go away, but at a time like this they’re just not the same. I’m so glad that my dad was able to call me to let me know when my grandpa passed, but at the same time when I got that phone call I felt every one of the 4,000 miles between us and all I wanted to do was be at home so I could give everyone a hug. Matt and I have missed many family events in the last year – a bunch of holiday get-togethers, a college graduation, a 21st birthday, a wedding, the birth of a niece, and now a funeral, not to mention all the important goings-on in our friends’ lives… these are the times when it’s hardest to be here. We are still glad that we joined Peace Corps, but don’t let our generally positive blog fool you into thinking it’s not hard.

I know this post is sad, and I hate writing sad things, but I feel like this is an important experience to share. I do want to say that I’m feeling much better after being in contact with my family all week – thanks guys for skyping, sending me the eulogy and everything to read, and generally making sure I’ve felt connected. I really appreciate it, and Matt and I both appreciate all the support we’ve received from family and friends back home throughout our service.

– Cori

6 thoughts on “The Hardest Part

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandfather, Cori. I’d love to be able to give you a big hug right now… and I’m sure the rest of the family feels the same way. We’re all so proud of you both. Hang in there.

  2. Cori and Matt – We love you, we miss you and I guarantee a big hug is waiting for you when you get off that plane. Take care and looking forward to seeing you soon.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear of your Grandfather’s passing! I have some sense of how hard it is to be away from everyone and everything. After a mere six months of studying in Spain, I was met at the airport by my parents and just dissolved into tears in their arms, overwhelmed and relieved to be home, as amazing as my experience had been. I know that you’re learning and experiencing so much during your Peace Core adventure, and you probably wouldn’t trade it, but missing all that is home and family and friends is still so difficult! Sending lots of love and hugs your way! We’re all thinking of you both and CANNOT WAIT to see you in July!!

  4. I know that being far from home is hard, especially at a time like this. Try to remember that your grandfather was lucky in that he knew you so well. He had you in his life for so many of his memories and that was your blessing to him. Love to you and Matt.

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