Thursday, September 20, 2007

My grandfather just passed away. He'd been sick for the last few months and had been assigned to hospice.

I don't have any strong emotions about it; maybe because he wasn't the type of grandfather who inspired those types of emotions, or maybe because I can be coldly rational. Thinking back on my memories of him, I can't really ever recall much interaction with him, which is strange when I consider the amount of time I spent in my youth running around boundless acres of countryside on my grandparents' property. They raised and raced horses, not always successfully. We would run in and out of the stables, climb up into the hay loft and swing out over it on a rope, letting go to land in a pile of dusty hay. We would climb trees, brush horses, and race across the fields endlessly.

Those are the memories I have when I think of my mother's parents. The memories are of the places, not of the people. To him we were just kids running around on his property, not specific people for him to take an interest in.

I don't feel sorrow for him, but I do for my mother, her siblings, and his wife. They put up with a lot from him. He could be cruel, in particular to my mother. He was abusive to my grandmother, and yet she still claimed to love him as did his children...even my mother.

I have talked with my mom about his impending death many times over the last few months, trying to comfort her and reassure her. For the most part she has handled it well. It's been hard for her to watch him waste away and suffer. She says things like,"I hope that doesn't happen to me." I cheer her up by making wildly inappropriate comments like, "Oh, don't worry. As kooky as you are, you'll probably fall off a ladder trying to paint the ceiling or fix the roof when you're eighty. You'll fall, break your neck, and it'll all be over before you know it!" We laugh and move on. Secretly, I worry that she will go through much worse as a result of a heavy smoking habit, but I never share it with her.

Perhaps the worst part of his death is the unfinished business he left behind. He wounded a lot of people in his lifetime. Even as he was in hospice, he was often bad-tempered and mean towards those helping him. He made one last dig at my mother during a visit from extended relatives. It hurt her badly. She'll never get an apology from him now. Although, she probably wouldn't have gotten it even if he were alive. Unfinished business, loose ends that will forever remain untied.

1 comment:

Musicguy said...

I'm very sorry to hear that. I wish you and your family the best during this time.