Wednesday / November 13, 2019
I’m sitting in the backyard of my house here in Kosovo trying to remember everything I want to write about in this story. It’s pretty surreal that I’m even here at this time of the year. It’s my last day today so I wanted to take the chance and write about this experience before I hit the road to go back to Croatia. Anyway, let’s get into the story. I think I’ve written about Kosovo before, and how for me, the main reason for coming here has always been my grandma. She passed away 5 months ago and I was afraid of coming here knowing that she is no longer here to wait for me. I dreamt of my grandma every other day for almost a month so I took that as a sign that I really, really needed to talk to her. So I decided to do what I was so afraid of. I decided to come to Kosovo and face her death. I went to her house, sat where we always used to sit, remembered how kind she was, remembered how she talked, remembered the way she walked. She was so loving and so loved I often think about how unfair it is that she suffered so much throughout her life. I visited her grave yesterday. I told her a lot of things, and for a tiny moment, I let myself get carried away. For a tiny moment, I felt like she was there, listening to me carefully, I felt like she was there, paying attention to what I was saying. What if she really was there though? I don’t remember the last time I cried and laughed at the same time like that, it was incredibly relieving. It’s unbelievable that I have to go to that sad place in order to talk to her, but I’m so glad I did it. The heavy weight on my chest was starting to become unbearable. I had to get things out of my chest, I had to tell her how much I love her. I had to apologize, I had to tell her that I’m sorry for not calling her more often, for not spending more time with her when I was in Kosovo. I’m sorry for not having celebrated a single birthday with her. But no matter how sorry I am, I can’t go back in time and change things. It is what it is, so it’s better to try and make peace with it somehow. I’m in peace because she knew how much I loved her, at least I hope she did. She truly was and will forever be my biggest love and inspiration. If the afterlife exists, I hope she’s in a peaceful place where she’s able to rest how she deserves. Everything beautiful reminds me of her. Every ray of sunshine reminds me of her. She was a light that you only meet once in a lifetime but keeps you warm and enlightened for the rest of your life. I have to go back to Croatia in a couple hours, but I already can’t wait to come to Kosovo and visit her again. As much as it breaks my heart that I can’t hug her, hold her hand and give her a kiss anymore, just knowing that I got to experience that kind of love fills me with so much love and warmth. I was afraid to come here but I survived. I was afraid of not getting a response from my grandma, but I don’t think that happened. I got a lot of responses. I didn’t hear her voice, I didn’t touch her but I feel close to her. I feel peace. I feel optimistic about life. Does that count as a response too?
I’m heartbroken but I’m also incredibly grateful.
Gjyshe t’du shume!!!