I'm a pretty private person, if you hadn't figured that out yet. I tend to keep things close to my heart, and rarely do I put it out there. But today, I decided to try something different. I'm not sure that I can carry it all by myself, that I can keep it under the surface, that I can pretend everything is all right and go a long with the social constructs of saying "I'm good" when someone asks how I am--even if I'm not good. No, I don't think I'll be able to do that today. Or tomorrow. Or the day after. Really, I'm not sure when I'll be back to that point. Which is weird, for me. I have only a few friends that I talk to about my personal life, and sometimes even they get the "I'm good", because, well, I don't know why. I could guess, but I think it just comes down to me and how I work and that's just me.
But this, this is different. I can't just pretend it's all hunky dory. It hurts too much. And, there's another aspect that makes me feel like I have to put it out there--this is the part that makes me want to keep writing this. I don't want to share my hurt. I don't want to put that on anyone else. But I want to share about him.
I lost my grandfather this week. I am,or was, very close to my grandfather. I saw him a lot, but I still find myself wishing that I had seen him even more.
A few months ago, something happened and he got sick. About a week ago, things got worse. He told us it was his time to go.
But he hung around for almost another week. He wasn't always with it; he started having a lot of pain and so we had to give him medication that made him pretty drowsy. But he knew we were there, and he'd still wake up to visit every so often.
The day before he died, I had decided not to visit him after work. I was tired. I wasn't feeling well. I was selfish. I had seen him every day for the week before, and a few times a week before that, and I was just tired from work and driving and everything. I promised to be back over the next day.
I regret that.
His last day had rough patches. He wasn't aware anymore, but I'd like to think he still knew we were there. Even though it was hard to watch him having to work so hard to breath at times, it didn't hurt as bad yet. I hurt for him, but--and I know this is selfish--he was still there, and that made it better for me.
One would think that having an entire day of this would make it easier. That knowing he would go anytime that day would somehow ease it once he did. But it didn't. See, I had been with two of my other grandparents with they passed, and I use to pronounce people when they died. Those experiences, well, they made it easier to not deal with what was happening. I mean, I knew exactly what was happening. I knew when we were close, I knew what every little thing meant. They were facts I could latch onto. I was still emotional, yes, but I didn't have to think about the after yet. I grab each little fact and held on. And I could try to fix that. Air hunger? Give him meds. Too many secretions? Meds.
But then he was gone. And that fact is too painful to latch onto. I can't fix that. I can't make it better. I can't deny it.
Every step since then has been hard. I wasn't very close to the other two grandparents whom I was with when they passed. I was able to accept it--they had passed, it was sad, but that was that. I could walk away from their bodies, knowing they weren't there anymore. I've lost another grandmother, whom I was also extremely close with, but passed when I wasn't there, and probably the biggest regret I have stems from that.
Leaving Papa last night was different than the other two. I knew he wasn't there anymore, but that didn't mean I could let go. I didn't want him suffering, I wanted him to have peace, but I didn't want him gone. I hate to say it, but I kept hoping he'd take another breath. Not for his sake, but for mine. Total selfishness. I wanted to have his presence back, to be able to have him in the present again and deny the future, to not have to think about him being gone.
Walking out of his house was the hardest--at least, until I walk back into his house. Knowing that I'll never be able to walk in and see him... that hurts. More than I could attempt to describe. All the things that you won't be able to do again hit you. I'll go over to see my grandma, and he won't be there, in his chair. Or in bed. Or watching the hummingbirds. He won't be outside, sitting in the swing with me. That's something we will never do again. We won't be able to go to our regular restaurant where we order the same thing. I won't have him tell me "keep working on it" and to "just keep trying" when I tell him about my writing.
He was one of the biggest inspirations for me. And I mean for everything. What I do, how I act--everything. He was one of the few, solid rocks in my life. He and my grandmother have been my rock since I was little. They were the neutral territory for what was happening with my family when I was younger. They were the place that I didn't have to worry about hurting anyone, that I didn't have to worry about doing something that would somehow "chose a side" or hurt someone. They were the place I didn't have to worry about any of that.
And I could always go to him, about anything. Sometimes, he'd give me advice. Sometimes, he'd just listen. But he was always there. I could talk to him about anything. He wouldn't judge; he'd never talk poorly about any of my families, even when things were rough. He just wanted to be that spot I could go to and not worry, and he was.
He was also my moms rock, and that makes my heart hurt even more.
He was one of the kindest people I've ever met. He kept that right till the end. He kept his humor, also.He was always supportive--no matter what. He taught me so much, about specific things and about life in general.
I hope he knew what he meant to me. How drastically he really did impact my life.
I know that I should focus on the blessings. There were many of them. And I thank God every day for them. For one, I got the years I did with him. The time with him. And I got to say goodbye to him. That he stayed mentally with-it until that last day. We were expecting him to go before Christmas, but he didn't. I got to spend time on Christmas with him. For the past two months, every time I've seen him, I've told him goodbye and that I love him and that he inspires me and how lucky I am to have. So people don't get the chance to say goodbye and know they are saying goodbye. I'm very blessed that I did.
It's just hard at the moment to only look at those blessings when this void is so great. I'm so thankful for the time I had for him, but I can't help wish I had more. I wasn't ready for him to go, but I think he was, and I'm trying to remind myself of that.
I told myself that I would write today. For him, because he was so supportive of my writing. But when I sat down this morning, I couldn't open any of projects. I'm not sure that I'll be able to today. So, here I am. I'm writing in honor of him, and I'm sharing something that I would normally keep close to my heart. But he was a great man who deserves to have everyone know that. He wouldn't probably think like that--he never cared what other people thought. And he'd probably shrug it off, say something like he knew of men greater than him, and I wouldn't agree.
I don't know how to end this. I don't think I will. There's no neat closure to this, just time I guess. And knowing that he knew we loved him, hopefully he knows how much, and that hopefully he's with his loved ones who have been gone for sometime.