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Wednesday May 11, 2005

For me grief is personal.

It’s not something you’ll ever be able to share with someone else, no matter how well-meaning or empathetic they are.

I can’t put into words how losing my grandad felt.

Before he got sick I was very much one of those “I’ve never lost anyone close to me, touch wood” people. I lost my maternal grandmother from multiple cancers when I was young. She even lived with us in the last stages. But I was selfish, well not selfish, but young and I don’t remember much of it.

This death? I remember all of it.

I’ve tried to articulate what it was like. What it was like to sit all night watching a dying man. What it was like to see him struggle every single damn day. I can’t describe the most intense grief and sadness I felt while being at the funeral, I can’t describe how something broke inside me while watching my grandmother and their children carry his coffin out of the cathedral. I can’t put into words how much it broke my heart to watch my father silently cry while listening to his brother give a eulogy.

I never understood loss and grief before now. I think that when death happens that something changes inside you.

Because when I think about my grandfather I can’t celebrate his passing yet. I’m just not ready to celebrate his death.

Because it’s just so overwhelmingly sad. Because it just isn’t fair for my grandfather to have his life end the way that it did. He was a doctor, a brilliant and hard man who needed full time care for months.

The last time I saw my grandfather I stayed up through the night to look after him. It was one of the longest, most painfully personal nights I’ve ever had.

In one of his more lucid moments he told me that “when the time came I had to be strong.”

When the time did come I found it hard to be strong, and I continue to struggle with it now.

So when friends and even some family ask how I’m doing, or am I ok I can’t say that it physically hurt me to experience his sickness and his passing. That the finding out that of only two pictures he kept on him one of them was of me physically hurt. That it just doesn’t get any easier. That I might be sad when I think about him for along time. That I think of him daily and I can’t help but cry. That apart from some unadmirable qualities he had, he was a good man. And that when he was in hospital I made him laugh and that I got the chance to sit with him and tell him I loved him and said my goodbyes.

A lot of people never get that chance, and for that I am thankful.

1 Comment »

Buttercup and JOHN-43:

so sorry to hear about your grand-father, it hit us all in diffrent ways, wish there was something, we could do to help, but as they say, he will always be with you, in mind and soul ;))))))

May 11th, 2005 | 5:54 pm
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