Death and all his friends.
My grandfather died. It has been much sadder then I imagined. He was old, sick, had a good long life. But man. I don’t know how to describe it.
My grandfather was my first love. I thought he was amazing, albeit a bit hard of hearing. He took me on secret adventures (to the grocery or hardware store. free coffee was usually involved) He helped take care of me when I was really sick and my parents sent me to florida to spend a month with the grandparents. I think my parents didn’t know what to do with me. My grandma taught me how to cook old school style and to keep a house clean, my grandfather taught me to build things and how to always keep myself busy. I don’t know, everything you talk about once someone dies is always so corny and nostalgic. But I guess that’s what we boil down to in the end?
I don’t believe death is bad, or scary or something to be feared. I fully believe in nature, it is my comfort to see and feel that all of the known world deals in cycles and death is part of that. Time is and time isn’t. However, while I believe those things, the knowledge that someone epic in my own personal story is dead, someone who held me when I was small and vulnerable and felt warm and comforting, big and strong, even scary at times; that that entity as I have known it is gone… the knowledge that my grandmother slept next to her lover for 67 years and now has to go home after his funeral to a home and a life and bed without him, well it physically hurts in my chest. and despite my hippi-esque belief in all good and beautiful things I have sat silently dripping tears for 3 days (much to the chagrine of another entity – my pride). Being of the age to have felt on a lesser level the dire loss of a lover who is everything and then gone completely, the idea that the one I love now can die, cease to be warm and present, compounds the loss of my grandfather. So now there’s loss and knowledge of greater loss to come.
But there’s other things too. The idea that my family, so broken and dramatic for all these years, is actually quite important to me, is, embarrassingly somewhat of a pleasant surprise to me. I think, and this is going to sound horrible, I know actually that I’ve pushed away my family for years not having the capacity to reconcile all my unmet needs from my childhood, my current needs for progress, for happiness and security, for the time to bumble around breaking things until I figured out a little more about life. and the fact that I want to talk to my dad, my mom, my brothers, my sister, that I miss them, that I feel our connection in my body. To know that that connection and our needs for each other doesn’t actually eclipse my worth or my strength or my ability to be an individual or proud of myself… or safe – thats the gift from this, that knowledge.
All in all death of anyone, related or not, forces one to think about what death is and so alternately what life is. What is life while we’re living, what is the goal, the purpose? What is life when it ends? Where do all our experiences, our blood sweat and tears, our gains and losses and love, where does it go to. How can these, albeit intangible, but real things, just end? I don’t know, I just don’t know.