When I was little, my family would occasionally visit my grandpa on his farm. He had chickens and ducks and peacocks. He had cats and an occasional skunk under the house. (Ew…) My dad’s dad loved his animals and his grandkids.
A few years ago, he battled cancer and won. It was a great relief to us when he got better. He was doing well for a while, then he had knee replacement surgery May of this year. He was recovering, but still getting older. A few weeks ago, a nurse went to his farm to check on him. She called an ambulance to take him to the hospital. My parents called me to let me know that Poppa was in the hospital and that they were going to do tests to see what’s going on with him. One MRI and one biopsy later, they discovered that the cancer was back. Tests were being done to see what stage the cancer was in, but my dad was told by the doctors that he should go up to Washington if he wanted to see his dad alive, because he didn’t have much time left. The next day, my dad left for Washington. The day after that, my grandpa died. August 30th at almost two in the morning, my grandpa peacefully slipped into eternity.
I haven’t seen my grandpa since I was seventeen. I will never see him on this earth again or give him a big hug. I wanted to go up and see him one last time, but I’m in school in California, and he was in Washington. I wanted to talk to him one last time, but I didn’t get to tell him how much I love him. My dad said that, while he was with Poppa, he sang some worship songs and told Poppa that we all love and respect him. He said that Poppa looked to be at peace after he said that, and he slipped away later. Knowing that Poppa was at peace before he left is an amazing thing. But his death is still sad.
It’s not very often that I have to deal with the death of a loved one. And even after a few times, I still don’t know what to do or say. Am I ok? I don’t know. Will I be ok? Definitely. But right now, I just don’t know what to think about it. It reminds me of when my other grandpa died when I was twelve. To this day, when I walk into my grandma’s house, I still look for my grandpa taking a nap on his worn recliner, even though he died years ago. And I wonder if it’ll be the same in the future. When I’m done with school, will I want to call Poppa to tell him that I’m doing well? When I’m planning my wedding (whenever that happens), will I want to invite Poppa to share that day with me? My dad is going to sell his farm, so I doubt that I’ll ever go there again.
Am I ok? I don’t know. I want to cry, but I don’t have someone to cry with. I’m in school, away from my family. And when I see my family, I feel a need to be strong for them. I try to think about how he isn’t in pain anymore. I try to think about how I’ll see him in heaven someday. And it’s comforting to think about those things. But I don’t think I’ve really dealt with this yet. Goodbyes aren’t really something that I’m good at. So, I avoid it. I’ll find a way to deal with it. And everything will be ok in time. But right now, it just feels a little overwhelming.