I was a mental wreck when I heard the three words come out of my mother’s mouth: “Grandma passed away.” She was thought to be asleep when my mother and sister found her in her room earlier that day, but they later pronounced her dead when they failed to revive her. She was sixty-four when she left, though she experienced lots of pain ever since her surgery for her legs. Now she no longer felt that pain.

Grandma never got buried, cremation being her wish. She did not want there to be any drama that accompanied viewings, not that it helped of course. My family began to argue over her possessions: who gets jewelry, who gets money, who gets her car, etc. Luckily, my mother had the say in who gets what, so Grandma’s possessions were in good hands. As for me, I was not coping so well. My depression worsened, finding little to no energy to do things, and worrying my family and friends in the process. They tried to comfort the best they could, but I had to heal by my own time and methods.

After nearly a week had passed since Grandma’s death, I have also done my best to comfort my family. With my school doing state testing, I was able to find some solace during that time. Because of this, I was capable of slowly being able to cope with the loss of who I thought of as a second mother. As Friday hit, I just spent my time doing the usual, drawing art, reading, and other things. The time eventually became 11:30 P.M., the time I usually went to sleep, and so I kissed my family goodnight and promptly went to bed.

4 hours passed before I woke up. Too hot I supposed, despite the fact that my only attire was a pair of boxers from Old Navy. As I started to get up, I noticed feeling somewhat….strange. I felt that I was someone, or something was watching me. The feeling was irrational of course, considering the fact that my family lived in a second-floor apartment building. Because of this fact, I became more paranoid, not wishing to know who or what was able to scale an apartment building.

But perhaps, this was just anxiety. Maybe a little trip to the bathroom can quench it. And so I answered nature’s call. And as I put down the phone, I noticed, as I shut the bathroom door, footprints on the floor. A pale gray powder indicated where the footsteps ended: right at one of the chairs of the dining room table. I also found what the powder resembled. They resembled ash. Human ash.

I immediately became full of sorrow, knowing who the ashes belonged to. It seemed my late grandmother wanted to pay me one last visit before she truly ascended into the afterlife. Knowing now the spirit meant no harm, I sat by where the imprints ended, beginning to silently weep. To think my second mother was here, back to see me. While I was busy letting my emotions free, I felt a faint, but gentle hand over my shoulder, as if to comfort me.

“It’s okay,” said an all-too-familiar voice. Grandma simply wanted me to be happy, saying it was okay to be sad. She knew how it felt to lose a loved one, my great-grandfather having passed two years prior. It was just as sad when his time came.

The clock then struck 4:00 A.M., and I felt her hand become looser. It was her time to go. I was not ready, wishing to spend at least some more time with her before she left for good. However, good things never last. And as I felt lips press against my cheek before fading, and the sound of wind go through the room, I knew I was then alone again, the only person awake in that house. Dawn would soon come again, and I would finally accept Grandma’s leave. After all….

It’s okay.