On August 2nd, 2017 my grandpa passed away.
What was supposed to be a routine procedure turned into a coma that he could not recover from.
When I first heard the news, I was numb. You see, I have never had anyone close to me (anyone that I knew personally, had dinners with, celebrated graduating with, spent summers with) die.
My mind was overwhelmed that this was even possibility. Death was a distant fiend only traumatizing the cast of TV dramas. Sure, I’d heard of other people losing a family member but my ultra naive brain cells refused to believe that it would ever happen to me.
But happen it did.
Grief is a strange emotion. It’s wasn’t as dynamic for me as a bad break up. It wasn’t as fire-y. But honestly it wasn’t so different. I instantly felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. I should have, could have done better. I should have visited more often. I wish I had called him more. Told him I appreciated his influence on my life.
I still feel hella guilty to this day, over a month later. I’ll probably feel it for a while longer. But it’s that sharp pain of guilt that’s driving me to repair my relationship with my grandma and my father. My relationships with them aren’t the best and I’ve allowed myself to justify not dealing with it because it hurt, I was hurt. Well, guess what? Death hurts worse.
If there’s one good thing that came out of his death, it’s that I have a sense of urgency towards spending time with those people who matter.
Life is short. I’ve known that for awhile. Unfortunately, knowing it and understanding its power are completely different. Now I understand.
What am I going to change? I’ve been on this path towards doing what matters all year long. Instead of thinking about it, dreaming about it, wishing for it, I’m going to actually do it.
What does that look like for me? Spending way more time with people who lift me up and love me. Treating my body with the love and care it deserves. Saying no to anything that doesn’t fit.
P.S. The funeral was terribly heart breaking. But connecting with my family, especially my grandma, afterwards filled me with such love that I’m not even going to try to explain it more than that.
Goodbye Grandpa! You are missed. Even though I don’t quite believe there’s a better place after death, I’d like to think that somehow, you are there. If anyone ever deserved a heaven, it would be you.