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Student remembers fond times with grandfather

Senior and Feather staffer Toryn Triplitt recently faced the deaths of both her her grandfather, John Trimmell and childhood pet, Georgia. Triplitt writes about these losses, her pain and her overcoming in a duo of columns. For the previous column sharing the loss of Triplitt’s dog, read COLUMN: Student shares struggle of losing family pet.

Megan LeBlanc | The Feather Online

My papa was never shy in telling my brother or I how proud he was of us.

I recently shared about the loss of my childhood pet on The Feather, but shortly after I wrote that article my family experienced an even more major loss. My grandpa (Papa), John Trimmell, passed away very suddenly.

My family was still reeling and accepting the passing of our dog when we received news about my grandpa. I remember the Saturday morning: I was getting ready for work and my mom came in visibly upset to tell me that she needed to go to my grandma’s, but that she would text me and keep me updated.

I went through the whole workday without receiving any news, so I had begun to think that maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal. That feeling ended when I locked up the shop and found my parents waiting in the parking lot for me, where they then told me the news. 

To be honest, it didn’t feel real, and it still doesn’t feel completely real. March 21st would’ve been his 84th birthday, and my family celebrated with one of his favorite meals and his favorite cake. It felt like something was missing the whole time, but he was what was missing.

As someone who has been dealing with some anger towards God and some mental health wars over the last few months, these two major deaths so close together really shook me up. If I am going to be real, I still haven’t processed either of them completely. I know they are gone, but I have not completely worked through what that means or how that makes me feel. I am in that process right now.

Megan LeBlanc | The Feather Online

My brother and I were featured on my grandparent’s Christmas card every year.

I find comfort in the fact that Georgia was my Papa’s favorite dog, and that they are together now and keeping each other company. I remember the good memories; he grew up around horses and we shared that love and experience. We often bonded over my horse. My brother and I were his only grandchildren and we never questioned his love for us, as he never failed to show it.

His friends would always tell us how often he said that he was so proud of us and how much he bragged about us. I am hoping to follow in my grandpa’s footsteps and attend the college he went to. 

This is a hard piece for me to write even a month since his passing, but I want to encourage readers to let yourself feel. I refused to let myself feel the pain for so long because I was already in pain, but as soon as you stop suppressing feelings that need to come out, it feels as if a weight has been lifted. Do not wallow in the sadness but rather consider and focus on the good memories.

I am blessed to have had the time with him that I did and I will carry the memories with me forever.

The following website provides tips for dealing with grief and loss, HelpGuide.org, Next Avenue, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

For more columns, read COLUMN: Student Body President encourages community to find joy, preserve and COLUMN: Freshman international student shares English language journey.

Toryn Triplitt can be reached via Twitter and via email.

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