My grandma and grandpa both passed away within the last three weeks. Rough. I didn't get back for grandma's memorial in mid-January, but after I got the call on Thursday afternoon that grandpa had had a severe heart attack, I knew I had to get back. Hard as it was, it was one of my favorite family weekends ever. We all truly pulled together - talked, laughed, cried, remembered...it was great. My mom has three brothers " they were all around with their families, so we really got to know our cousins again, too. It's sad that it takes a death to bring people together, but hopefully we'll learn from this. I had several thoughts throughout the week I meant to blog, so here we go...
I try to stay away from regret. I try to take each potential regret as a hard lesson learned and move on, applying it in the future. Just seems to be the best way to handle life. Unfortunately, I’m experiencing regret. I’m currently at my parents’ because my grandpa passed away this afternoon. I found out Thursday afternoon he’d had a severe heart attack and had 1-3 days left. My step-grandma passed away two weeks ago of the same thing, and I didn’t make it home. Well, this time I decided to come home…though I took too long getting here. I couldn’t decide if it was more important to get here before he passed away, or wait for the funeral. By the time I decided to get here, it turned out to be too late. By 3 hours. That’s tough to take.
Thankfully, my family is openly talking about his last two weeks (after grandma), and how peaceful he was at death. I have that and memories of him to live with. He had a great chuckle…most of us will remember that most. As a matter of fact, he didn’t believe he had a heart attack, and he chuckled at the doctor. I think that’s fantastic.
Lesson for ya’ll – if a loved one is dying (even one who you’re not that close to) get there. Don’t wait. It’s more important to have a last moment with them alive than get to the funeral. I never get to see grandma " grandpa on earth again. I’ll be honest, that sucks.
It's hard to know how to grieve. You want to constantly cry, but don't feel that's right. You have to continue with normal life to move on, but that doesn't feel right. You want to fix everyone around you " make them feel better, but you can't. Frustrating.
I have got an amazingly solid family. I give the credit to grandpa for raising his kids so well. I heard so many incredible stories from the farm days, when my real grandma passed away in '57, how my mom grew up, and what a great sense of humor grandpa had until the end. The love in his family has grown " expanded into their families, and I get to reap the benefits. The many, many tears are evidence of the love there is.
Friday, February 4, 2005
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