June 26, 2011
My grandfather passed away last April. He had been diagnosed with Cancer last October, and I’m not really sure that they ever figured out exactly what kind of cancer it was or even where it started. Not that it really would have mattered to me. Cancer is Cancer. It sucks really bad no matter what kind it is. While he had the cancer though I would go over there and even though he was sick, I hardly noticed a difference. And I hate to say that because it makes me feel as though I’m simply cold and heartless. But my grandfather did the same thing when he had cancer that he’d always done when he wasn’t sick. He sat in his chair and watched TV. That. Or he played gulf. When I say all of this I don’t mean to discredit my grandfather at all. He just never really had much to say. At the same time though, when he did say something, I always knew to listen.
He built a life for my entire family, so that for generations to come we could all live comfortably and not have to worry too terribly much about certain things. He had a strong hand in his community. All in all he was a strong, caring man.
But just the same, when he died it was weird. I think we’d all kind of prepared ourselves for when it would happen. So once he was gone and the body had been taken away, we sat around telling stories and then preparing for what would come next.
It was the next day when food slowly started to creep in. I take that back actually. Food had slowly started coming in days before he actually passed. But the day after he passed was a Friday I believe and the services wouldn’t be until Sunday and Monday. So it was days of sitting around not doing much of anything. Simply being with my family contented me. The whole family came together. All 13 cousins, their children, the aunt, uncles all of us were together yet again. A bit sad. But at the same time I knew to take advantage of the moment. My training for a half marathon could wait till next week (which I would later regret that decision… but that’s a whole other story).
For three days we sat around and ate. There were pans of homemade cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, pans of pork roast, pasta, pots of clam chowder, a stocked fridge of wine, beer and anything else that might make a person feel better. Pies piled into the freezer. Old faces flooded in and out. Constantly. Some people I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. And every night that weekend at dinner, there were crowds of people. All there to remember my grandfather.
It will sound cold. And may even seem callous, but I was so glad when the services were done. I had taken the last week off from school to be near my grandfather, and family, and that whole weekend was really just waiting around. Everyone wanted to do something. I felt touched.
It was strange though. When my grandmother on my fathers side passed, I was fifteen, and it had saddened me to the core. I cryed for days not sure what else to do. I wanted her so badly to not be gone. But now, at the age of twenty-two with my mothers father passing, I was sad. But it was different. It felt less traumatizing. Not that I loved him any less or anything like that.
Maybe we just feel things more strongly when we’re younger. But that thought alone scares the shit out of me. I mean I don’t want to feel things less and less as I get older. Maybe it’s a matter of all of these feelings are new, and we don’t know how to feel them other than strongly. Like maybe it helps up to be able to justify how we feel if we feel it more strongly.