So again, my life hasn’t been that difficult for me – so there’s not a lot of dark times I can reflect on. But for the sake of not ‘crapping’ out on the 30 Days of Truth (Like my dear little sister did) I am going with the day my grandpa died.
I’ve mentioned a bit about my grandpa’s death and about my grandpa before and you can read those posts here, here and here.
So let me explain a bit more that I haven’t really explained too much before. The week before my grandpa died my friend, Sam, lost his father to a freak accident. It was totally unexpected and left everyone around in a state of shock. I hadn’t dealt with death so up close and personal, when I actually understood it. When I was about 3 our neighbor died and my friend, Katie’s dad had a freak accident and died when we were about 10.
3 years later is when Sam’s dad died. I had no idea how to handle the situation or what to say to Sam, but I knew I needed to be supportive in some way. I remember going to his house and didn’t have to say a word – he just gave me the biggest hug and we both knew that no words were needed. I was in a state of shock for a week or so and then we got the news that my grandpa died. I was very much in a dark place. I was angry at God for taking my grandpa away before I was ready for him to go. It took me a few years to realize it was actually a good time for Grandpa to go as the way the world was going would’ve killed him anyway. 😉
For a writing assignment in 10th grade I wrote a little more about those few days leading up to my Grandpa’s death. I will share that now…
NEVER A GOODBYE
“This path, in back of these Peace Gardens, seems familiar to me. Oh yes, I remember now. I walked this path a lot with my Grandpa. Oh, my Grandpa, my dear beloved Grandpa. He’s gone now and if only you knew the hurt I was going through when he was in the hospital. I wish I could forget how and when it happened, but I can’t. Every second haunts me still. Why does it haunt me? You’ll see.
It was Friday, March 26, 1993, the day after my father’s 42nd birthday. I was a seventh grader at Kennedy Junior High School. I was having a good day, but as I stepped into my 5th period Pre-Algebra class, a strange feeling came over me. I didn’t know where the feeling came from, so I ignored it. I went through the rest of my day. Through my 6th and 7th periods – Gym and English.
I walked home with my friends forgetting all about this feeling. When I got home I found that my mom wasn’t home. This was unreal, my mom was always home when I got home from school – especially on a Friday. Luckily, my little brothers were home. I asked them where my mom was and my little brother, Donovan, said in a bored voice, “At the hospital with Grandpa.” All at once it occurred to me that it wasn’t going to be okay. I said to myself, “Oh great! Grandpa’s going to die.” I don’t know why I said it or how I knew what was going to happen. All I knew is that I had to get out of the house.
I decided to go out and shoot some hoops, trying to get my mind off what I knew was going to happen. It was of no use. As soon as my friend, Stacy, came to my house I let it all out. As we were walking down to her house, my best friend, Sam came from around the corner. He could tell something was wrong with one of us. He came over to see what was going on.
Stacy told him how I had come home to find out that my Grandpa was in the hospital. Sam excused himself and went home. At the same time Stacy’s mom had come out to find her. Needless to say, Stacy’s mom heard the story about my Grandpa and she told me not to worry. But how could I not worry? I mean, this was my Grandpa, my FAVORITE Grandpa that we were talking about. Sam had come back with his mom who was a friend of my mom’s. Sam’s mom asked where my older sister, Kami, was. I explained that Kami was at a softball tournament in another city. Sam’s mom then asked me to go home, get my brothers and sister and return to their house.
I did as she asked. We went over to their house and they decided to get us some dinner. After dinner we watched HOOK to get our minds off the point at hand. It worked for a little while. Around 9:00 P.M. my mom came over and got us. We then went home.
My mom explained to me that my Grandma and uncle had just come back from the Family History Library. When they opened the door they saw my Grandpa on the bottom of the steps, and his asthma inhaler on the top step. There was no sign of foul play, yet no one could explain what happened. I went to bed that night feeling unsure of what was to happen.
When I woke up in the morning, my mom and dad were at the hospital. I started to do my Saturday’s work, but to no avail. I stopped what I was doing and sat on the couch feeling that my Grandpa had just passed. A few minutes later the phone rang. It was my mom telling us that my Grandma, my mom and my mom’s siblings had decided to take Grandpa off the respirator and that he had died. She also told us that our cousin, Tim was coming to pick us up so we could see Grandpa one last time. My little sister, Kaeloni was to go to a neighbor’s house.
Tim came and we made the trip to the hospital. When I saw my mom, she was bawling. My Mom asked me if I wanted to go see my Grandpa. I got halfway there, when I turned back to where the others were waiting. My cousin, Katie – who is a year younger than me – seemed okay until after she went into my Grandpa’s room. We were both crying so excessively that our moms sent us into the bathroom to clean our tear-stained faces.
All this time I hadn’t noticed that my Dad was gone. I asked my Mom where he went and she said that he had gone to pick up Kami. We then made our way home.
The viewing was held on Monday night. I didn’t go to the viewing because I couldn’t stand to look at my Grandpa’s cold corpse. It was just too hard. Tuesday was his funeral and still I never went near the casket. Pretty soon we were driving in procession to the graveyard. He was in the ground. I never said goodbye. Never.
We then went to the family dinner. I tried not to think about his funeral and with cousins all around, it wasn’t that hard to forget. I don’t know why. I shouldn’t have forgotten.
Now as I walk this path again, I remember walking it with my Grandpa, my best friend. I took for granted those times together. Now all I have are fading memories. Why was I so selfish?”
I wrote that 2 years after his death. I was still struggling with it. I still struggle with it. I hate the fact I didn’t take those last chances to say “goodbye.” I have a really hard time with goodbyes, especially when it comes to death.
It seemed like after my Grandpa died, my extended family started drifting apart. He was literally the glue holding us together. I’ve learned quite recently that he was taken from this world at the time he was supposed to, though it was and is still extremely hard to have him gone.
I lived in this world of bitterness and sorrow for a good 2 or 3 years. Any time something would go wrong, I’d find a way to blame the fact that Grandpa wasn’t around anymore. A lot of my writing assignments in English those few years centered on my Grandpa. I wasn’t happy. Not really, not like I should’ve been. My mom even seemed to handle it better than me and she was Daddy’s Little Girl!
So, there’s my novel for that truth. If you’re still reading – God Bless You!