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.