You could have been following me for less than a month and figure out that I don’t do well with grief and loss. I have been working on it for years but it is still not a smooth ride. This last Saturday my grandfather passed away, just days before his 90th birthday. It’s when he was supposed to go and he had been struggling for awhile. It was one of those situations where there is a bit of relief after they leave, as it is apparent they were suffering. However, my own issues with grief, loss and my tendency to take on other people’s stress always leaves me with more questions than answers.
Of all lives to live and times to go he did it right. From Idaho, married 5 times that we know of and used one of those marriages to create the most perfect lady in the whole world (my mom). Dude worked hard his whole life, they couldn’t get him to stop working until he was in his 80s. He loved hard too, obviously by the amount of wives but he was just a charming good guy and women loved him all the way up to the nurses taking care of him at the end. He had a bunch of kids, like enough to where I can’t even really tell who is who’s sibling but they are/were all very sweet people, that cared too much sometimes but in the most genuine ways, just good people.
He was an Army veteran, beer drinking, good time. When me and the other grandchildren came along it was like he was built to be a grandpa, like he was waiting his whole life for it. Why else would you say shit like “he’s like a fart in a skillet?” That’s not a dad thing, that’s a grandpa thing. He was just grumpy enough where you knew he was 100% genuine all the time. He would sacrifice anything for people he cared about. He received a purple heart from his time at war and had the gnarly scars to prove it. When I was little I would sit on his lap and punch him in the stomach, you know, cause I was a fun kid. After 4-5 punches every time he would show everyone his belly with the biggest knife scars all the way across them and say “you’re so strong! look what you did!” What a fun time, with a fun guy. Also, for the record, I am pretty strong.
Most importantly, even the concerns you might have for an old man from rural Idaho were not an issue. I’m sure he internalize some shit you wouldn’t want to hear, just based on some of the hate being spewed by others around him but I don’t really think he cared. I had never known him when he could hear very well, which meant he was also loud as fuck when he would talk. I remember my high school graduation party when one of my many basketball coaches walked in with her partner at the time and my grandpa was sitting in the recliner – where he also slept – and as they passed through the room into the backyard he yelled “are those two a little funny?” This of course being his way of asking if they were lesbians but when we said yes he was just kind of like “okay, just checking.” It was only mildly embarrassing but I can’t help but think it could have been much worse.
My grandfather knew what he loved and didn’t pay much attention to the things that didn’t fit that. Which is an outlook that many of us work really hard to obtain and he mastered it. He was a real ‘live and let live’ kind of guy, a real hard worker and a real caring gentleman. He did it right, lived right and died right.
His simple yet impressive life resume is what seems to be leaving me with so many questions and ill feelings after someone passes. I just wish after someone passed you could sit with them and go over everything and see how they felt about it. I suppose they don’t feel about it, because they are dead.
At this time last year, closer to the beginning of February, my aunt passed away. I wrote a post about it then but my site crashed so we don’t have it. In short she had a much different life; she battled drug addiction and abusive relationships with bad people. I wish she had known about places like Enterhealth, so that she could have won that battle at least. She wasn’t a bad person though, she was actually a very caring person. I have so many questions for her. I just have become overly concerned with the idea of mortality in the past few years, possibly a symptom of this sweet, sweet anxiety disorder.
Hard to feel relieved when anyone has passed without having any solid answers but specifically answers about how they felt. I don’t take issue with there being an afterlife or not, I also don’t have an answer for it either. I envy people who do but it’s not as concerning to me as what happens when you are here and how you feel. I have very religious friends who find purpose in everything they do because it is for a higher power. I also have people in my life who know 100% there is no god and therefore they have no questions. I am equally jealous of both people. That gives them answers. ‘I know everything I am doing is for the right reason for my higher power’ or ‘we live, we die, that’s it, nothing more.’ But death only leaves me with more questions and it’s absolutely because 50% of what I worry about is just if I am doing a good enough job, working hard enough, ever going to be happy or if my family and friends are proud of me. All reasons to be doing it but at the moment without answers.
With all the overarching issues we are facing I go back and forth each day trying to keep myself grounded and pay attention to myself while also being a global citizen. You know what? That’s pretty fucking hard. I care greatly about my family and friends and spend time worrying about them. I, unfortunately, moderately keep up with the dumpster fire that is this country’s politics but in reality I ate a can of beans and top ramen for breakfast and I have been sleeping on a top sheet that is too small to tuck into the bed instead of the fitted sheet for over a month. And what’s more interesting is that I am fine with it.
I just hope that my grandfather is half as happy and as proud about what he did as I am of him and what he created. Those are the questions I want answers too. I think he does and I think he knew how much EVERYONE loved him, he was a cocky fella, so he had to.
In conclusion, there is no conclusion.