Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

“Why did my grandma have to die?”

Hey Terra,

About a year ago me and my family went on vacation and me and my grandma got sick. I got better but my grandma didn't. So my mom made her an appointment to see her doctor. Her doctor told my mom "This is no cold. You need to take her to the emergency room right away." They told her that she had pancreatic cancer and that she needed surgery. After they removed part of the pancreas they told us she would be ok. One year later she's about to die so can you help me understand why she has to go?


Dear Joe,

I am sorry that your grandma is so sick. I'm sure it's very confusing that first the doctors said that she would be "ok" after the surgery and now, a year later, she is not ok. My prayers are with you and your grandma and your whole family during this time.

You ask me to help you "understand why she has to go." Understanding death is a challenge for all of us. You love your grandma and you want her to stay with you and be well. And yet, she is weak and tired of fighting the cancer, and so it may be time for her to leave her body and move on.

Maybe it will help you to know that all of the love you have for your grandma... All of the memories you have of times together... All of the wisdom she has shared with you... And all of the things you have inherited from her will ALWAYS in your heart. And after your grandma has passed away and you take the time to remember her, she will be with you. If you want to "talk" to her all you have to do is think about her, ask her a question in your mind, and she will answer and guide you.

And when you grow up and have a family of your own, tell your children stories about your wonderful loving grandma and she will be with you then. In this way she will live forever.

I hope this helps you understand that death only takes the body. The love we have for the people who have passed is always with us.

Continue making good choices in your life, Joe, and your grandma will always smile down at you. Be well.

In friendship,


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