It’s now been almost 2 months since my grandpa passed away. And I’m still questioning if I’ve accepted it. It doesn’t feel real to me still. And maybe that’s because I only visited my grandparents a couple of times a year and I’ve only been down to see my grandma twice since it happened. I’m thinking that it might not feel real until Thanksgiving when I think his absence will really be felt.
I’ve been lucky where very few people who I love have passed away. But it usually feels real right away. But then again, many times it’s been after a long illness and I knew that this was coming.
When Kip (my acting teacher) passed away, it was after about a year in the hospital. Every so often we thought that he was getting better and going to come home, but then something would happen and he would take a turn for the worst. This went on for so many months that I wondered if he would just live for several years in the hospital (we tried to make it seem homey for him and decorate for the holidays). In the end, he decided to end all life-extending measures and we were all given a chance to say goodbye. When I went, he wasn’t really conscious, but there was music playing in the room and every so often he would smile at that. I was there for maybe 30 minutes telling him how much I loved him and then said goodbye. He passed away a day or two later.
With my friend Keri, that was another long illness. While I never really said goodbye to Keri, I still knew that this was coming. And honestly, I doubt she would have allowed me to say goodbye to her. She was always so positive and wouldn’t want to have me think about not seeing her again.
The one death that I’ve experienced that was unexpected in the past was my Great Aunt Shirley. She was like my grandma on my dad’s side. Her health was always a little poor, but when I got the call that she passed away, I was shocked. I never got to say goodbye to her and I regret that I didn’t have a phone call with her closer to her death (our last phone call was about 2 months before she passed).
I’m not hoping to necessarily feel sad about my grandpa’s death. He and I had a very complicated relationship and I understand why my emotions might not be what people expect. But some sense of closure might be nice.
I may have gotten a bit of that this past weekend. I was at the grocery store picking up a few things. They had a display of Coke bottles near the check out. I haven’t had soda in years so I still don’t know why I looked at it. But when I did, in the center was my grandpa’s name.
I’m not sure what this sign meant, but it was definitely something. And for some reason, it gave me a bit more peace with everything.