Well it’s been quite the week for me. On Sunday my grandpa passed away. Now this weekend is his funeral.
I never knew that loss felt cold before. But it does. I felt cold after I heard the news. I’d expected it for a while, he was not doing well right before. He hadn’t been doing well for a decade. Especially the past four years or so. In fact, that he lived as long a he did was a mystery to his doctors, and my family’s opinion, it was a miracle. He lived off prayer, so many people prayed for him.
The show I mentioned before, RWBY, has a song about loss titled “Cold.” It’s pretty sad. And pretty accurate. When someone dies, do you cease to love them? No.
To me it’s more like a connection was lost. Like your spiritual cellphone now is out of service. But I know some people don’t feel that way. They still feel connected to people they’ve lost. I’m not sure why that is. Losing people has not made me an expert on it. C. S. Lewis wrote about feeling his wife’s nearness in “A Grief Observed.” He knew she still continued to exist.
Some folk think you can talk to the dead and they’ll hear you. I don’t think that, but I understand the need to have final words. So few of us get to be with loved ones when they pass on. I felt like if I had had the chance, I would ahve felt better. Though I did get to see him the very day before, so that was a mercy.
I don’t have a lot of very close memories with my grandpa, he had such ill health, and lived too far away, and he was not very good at connecting with people. But I did get to go out with him on his boat once, which was fun. And he took us around museums and a fishing expo once. I think we went to an aquarium once also. Before his health got really bad. He also paid for my braces, so I owe the fact that I have good teeth now to him.
He was always kind to me. As I got older I found out he was not perfect. None of my grandparents are of course. But I always chose to think of him more as how he was to me. His best self. I prefer to see people that way.
I notice that families like to dredge up old stuff. And I’ve been there, and I’m getting really disillusioned with it. It’s such a waste of time, as my grandmother liked to say. We all do dumb things when we’re young and immature. I’m fortunate to have realized this now and not when I’m 80.
What really counts, as a couple of good songs I know “It happens in a blink” and “Give a little love”, both point out, is not the dumb things we’ve done, but the things we did to love other people. The Bible says that some of us will do little, some of us will do none, and some of us will do much. The parable of the Talents, or when Paul speaks of our works being tested by fire. The point really isn’t how much we do, but that we do things out of love.
Whatever else anyone could say of my grandpa (and all of us could have plenty of things said of us that we wouldn’t like, couldn’t we?) he did love me and his other grandkids and he did things for us that we couldn’t pay him back for. He did help out my parents when we were down on our finances. He did try to take care of my grandmother. And that’s what we’ll remember more about him, or at least that’s what I want to dwell on. No human being is perfect, if we focus on our mistakes, that’s all we’ll ever see. If we focus on the things we did right, at least there is love.
Until next time–Natasha.