Today would have been my grandpa’s 93rd birthday. It’s the first holiday/event that would have celebrated him since he passed away (Mother’s Day doesn’t count).
I’ve been lucky that I’ve only lost a few people in my life, but the first time that I have to skip over buying them a card for something I would have celebrated in the past has always been the toughest for me. I have even forgotten that people have passed away and have bought them cards and didn’t realize the mistake until after I got home.
My calendar alerts me to all birthdays/anniversaries/holidays 2 weeks in advance so I have time to get a card and mail it out. I can’t seem to delete events of people who have passed away. I still get a reminder for Keri’s birthday (I also could never forget it since it’s the day between my cousin’s birthday and my birthday). It breaks my heart a little bit having that reminder come up, but I can’t seem to get rid of it. I don’t get rid of phone numbers or emails either. Somehow that doesn’t seem right to do.
It feels so weird to not be on the lookout for the perfect birthday card for my grandpa. Getting cards for him were always a bit of a challenge. My grandma is easy (anything with butterflies), but my grandpa wasn’t a fan of sappy cards. I’d try to find one with a dirty joke because that was more his style.
And with my grandpa’s birthday so close to Father’s Day, I usually make one trip to the store to get his birthday card and Father’s Day cards for him and my dad. This time, instead of getting 3 cards I’m only getting 1.
I’ve wondered why my grandpa’s death hasn’t felt real for me. It’s weird. Even after my mom called to tell me and other family members started to call or post things on Facebook, I wondered if it was a big mistake (I felt the same way when my mom told me she had cancer). Seeing my grandma in the apartment alone or now in her new apartment didn’t make it seem real either. It almost feels like he was out doing an errand or at the hospital or something. I do sometimes do a double take when I see things that belonged to my grandparents in my house. It feels weird having those items here when they have always belonged to them (and I can picture exactly where they were in both their old house and recent apartment).
But not getting the cards that I have gotten for forever really make me realize that he’s gone and that I don’t have to buy his cards anymore. I’m not necessarily sad. I am sad for the loss my family has had, you can only admire how full of a life he lived. I hope that I can get to 92. I think grief and loss for me is not as much being sad as it is trying to think about all of the positives and trying to do things that I know would make that person happy.
So tonight after my workout, I plan on having a martini with a blue cheese olive (using the martini swords) and doing a toast to my grandpa and to the other people who I have loved and lost.
Cheers to you Grandpa.