This year, on Febuary 12, I lost someone very dear to me. This man was a man of God, a father, a grandfather, a brother, a husband, and a best friend. Where do I fit in? I am his granddaughter, or I was. I was the one who never called, who never said I love you to his face, and who hardly ever talked to him in general. Of course, he lived halfway across the U.S. from where I live. You see, I never had the courage to call, or the courage to tell him that I loved him, because I didn’t want to screw it up. I wanted to be the best granddaughter in the whole world. Sadly, I didn’t know what that was until now.
I realized that I had been an awful granddaughter, and I was too late. He was preparing for his journey to heaven, lying in his death bed with life support keeping him from leaving us. I sent him an email with as much as I could say. I said how sorry I was for never calling, and how I am going to fix that issue. I told him how wonderful he was, and I told him that he made the best bacon in the world, because he really did. I really did love him, I just never really knew him.
When you live thousands of miles away from someone, you grow distant. I knew his name, what he did for a living, that he loved God…. but I couldn’t tell you much else, other than he was such a wonderful man; a wonderful, beautiful man.
How did he pass? He had a kidney problem. A kidney problem that stole him from us; a problem that latched onto his life and fed off of him like a leech. A parasite that wouldn’t let him stay. If it were a being, I would take revenge. It murdered my Grandfather, and stole him from us. There is no way that crime can be punished, or that debt can be paid. The empty hole in my heart cannot be filled. It is like someone stabbing you, and the wound looks like it is healed, but there is still a scar. You still remember the pain of a knife being plunged into you, like an hoe into the soil, and it hurts every time you imagine it. Sometimes you feel the pain, and you wonder if it is real, or a figment of your imagination, but this is real.
I went to his viewing. I saw him laying there, surrounded by flowers from the people whose lives he had touched. He almost looked asleep, but he wasn’t. People would come in and look at him sadly, and then they would shake my hand. Sympathy, sympathy, over and over. Some were crying, some were smiling, and some just looked at me with sad, shining eyes. Most of them were reasonably old as well. I remember shaking their hands. Some of them had such strong grips, and others were gentle; almost weak. Some had soft hands, and others had rough, calassed hands. One thing that most of them had was a fragile feel. They felt so….. so breakable. I felt I might crush their bones as I shook their delicate hands. It was sad, and it scared me. I’m not sure why, it just did. I remember after each hand I shook, I glanced over to the coffin. It was lined with a cream colored, silky looking fabric, and there he was. His skin looked stretched, and flat. It was like where there used to muscle, he was empty. Hollowed out. The skin had caved in over those spots; like old, stretched leather. His lips were thin, blue lines. The worst was his eyes. They were shut, but they were a red purple, and so sad looking. So dead. It was like living through a horror movie that I couldn’t escape. Every time I saw him, I wanted him to get up. “Wake up. Wake up!” I would think with all my heart. I just wanted him to wake up. To come back to us. I felt like such a child. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t my grandfather, at least not anymore. It was simply his past body. Heaven has given him a new one.
Then there was the crying. With each glance it became harder to hold back my tears. My eyes burned, and there was an unmovable lump in my throat. At one point I had to go to the bathroom to let myself cry. I sat in there for a minute, and I had to wait for my face to go back to normal, for the red blotches to go away. I didn’t want them to see me cry. I am tough, and strong, or that’s what I kept telling myself. I couldn’t be weak, not now.
Every time I reminisce on the few moments we had, I lose myself. It just hurts. It tears at my heart and my mind, and I don’t want him to be gone.
It is so selfish of me to want him back though, because this life is so terrible. My Grandpa had ascended into the lavish place called Heaven. The goal of all Christians where God resides, where we can get to through God. We get to finally escape this life of pain, depression and doubt. He is so lucky.
This is to anyone with a grandma or grandpa, or family member you ever stay away from, or don’t call, or ignore in general. Talk to them. Tell them you love them! Visit them evey time you can! Call them! It seems like they will always be there, but they won’t. Do it, just talk to them. Don’t live in regret for the rest of your life.