I don't need someone to explain to me what has happened and that I won't see my grandmother again as I know and understand that already. I don't need to use the word 'die' instead of 'pass away' as I know both terms mean the same thing. And I don't need to be told she's in a better place as I have no religious beliefs to back up that claim.
My Granddad told me grandchildren are your reward for not killing your own offspring at birth. OK, he's my step-grandfather so didn't actually have to endure having a baby at home but instead joined our family when I was old enough to have a decent chat with him. But I understand his sentiment and the twisted compliment somewhere in that statement.
A grandparent offers a different kind of love to your parents. They can be the fun time as they can 'give you back' to your parents when they've hyped you up on sugar and let you play in the mud.
Many grandparents offer wisdom that can only come with age and life experience. Sadly, Alzheimer's stole my Nan years ago so she had no more memories to share but when I was young she taught me the 24 hour clock, which she called 'military time', well before we had a video recorder. And she taught me how to knit which is another skill I still use regularly.
They Lived a Full Life
When an older person dies it seems most feel that it is more acceptable as they will have lived a full life. Nan certainly loved life and was always the first on the dancefloor at any family party. She was also the first to volunteer to go up on stage for a magician, comedian or whatever performer we saw in the theatre.
Losing a grandparent when you're an adult means you probably haven't seen them as often as you did when you were a child. You may have moved away, have a family of your own, have full-time work, etc. But the guilt of neglecting them is no less real. Thankfully, I spent a lot of time with her during her last week and I did say goodbye knowing we didn't have long.
It's not just the loss of Nan today that's hard but several time markers throughout the year are going to be tough. The anniversary of her death and her birthday are obviously going to be difficult days but at Christmas Nan always made the Christmas cakes for all the family. I can't ask Nan for gardening advice in the Spring. She won't see my daughter grow up, start Secondary School, go to University, etc.
Talk About Them
Common advice is to talk about the person who has died. Don't start pretending they didn't ever exist. Death just isn't something we talk about often but it needs to be done to remember the good times too. It's also important to remember no family is 'normal' so don't compare as it doesn't help.
Don't expect that you're going to "get over it." The only way to "get over" a loss is to go through the stages of grieving. Do see: There's no right way to grieve for more advice.