Why on earth does my brain decide that 1 or 2 AM is the perfect time for a blog post? I’m unsure, but either way, I’ve done it to myself yet again. I find that I am incapable of sleeping for all of the thoughts and words that beg to be poured out into a post.
Today is of particular significance to me because it is the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. 14 years to be exact. He passed away at about 6 AM after a long battle with cancer. It began in his lungs and through various treatments went into remission. After maybe a year of remission, it returned and was much more aggressive. It spread quickly to other organs and parts of his body until it finally consumed him. He was perfect through all of it, though. He complained little, if at all, no matter how excruciating the pain. He even continued to go to work every day until he absolutely couldn’t anymore. I witnessed his baptism a year after his first diagnosis. It was one of the happiest moments of my life because I knew what it meant for his soul. It gave me relief and comfort to know that I would see him again someday. The moment that his soul left his body, I could feel it. Even though no one had notified me yet and it was still about an hour before my alarm would go off for school, I woke up and cried because I just knew. It wasn’t long before there was a knock at our door- my Dad, to deliver the news.
Every year, I feel the same sadness all over again. You see, my grandfather and I were extremely close. He was the first person to hold me as a baby, besides my mother of course. I was the granddaughter that he had always wanted, and he loved me as though I was his child. I was quite possibly his whole world, and if you would have told me that he placed the sun, moon, and all of the stars in the sky, I would have believed you. Everything revolved around grandpa. His love was unconditional, unending, and strong. I can still remember a very specific moment when my parents were going through a divorce, there was so much anger surrounding me in my life, and he could tell. He knew it was affecting me and I was kind of acting out as such. I remember that he held me so close to him and said, “Hey, you know you’re always loved here.” Then I preceded to bawl my face off, because what else would you do in that moment?
I often wonder when I will get over this tragic event in my life, and wonder if it will ever get any easier. Other people have gone through far worse and don’t get as weepy and sentimental as I do. I also realize that death makes the living very selfish. Of course I’m glad for him because he is no longer suffering and his pain is gone. He has been set free from this mortal prison and is in paradise. So why do we get so sad? It’s our own selfishness. We miss having them around. For me, I know I miss having him around all the time. I miss seeing him every day and I sure miss talking to him. There have certainly been times when I just wish so bad that I could call him to see what he had to say about whatever I’ve been going through. I always wonder if he would still love me the same, and if he would be proud of who I am and what I’ve done with my life. I constantly agonize over what my last words to him were. Did he know just how much I love him? Most of all though, I miss that love. To be loved so unconditionally by someone who for thousands of reasons could have chosen not to is rare. To find that ever again is even more rare.
So here we are, 14 years later, still crying about the greatest man I have ever known. Grandpa, I love you, I miss you, and above all I thank you.
“Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living. And above all, pity those who live without love.”
-Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows