Candice shared this with me, and gave me permission to post it here.
January 26, 2020
I am doing well despite the grief and emotional trauma of this month. I truly feel that taking care of grandpa in hospice was pure love. It was one of the hardest and yet easiest things I’ve ever done. It is hard to watch someone die. It reminds us all we too will be there someday.
The loss of my grandfather feels like losing the roots of my family tree, like losing my past. Perhaps its better stated by losing the oldest trees in the forest of my life, a connection to history.
And there are so many things I should have asked him. It’s all gone now, whole chapters of history, dead. I feel a deep yearning for that connection to be reestablished. I lost something I didn’t even know I relied on to help establish who I am and where I am from. He was, in many ways, a homecoming.
I miss his sarcasm and gruff exterior as much as I miss his softness and unbelievable love for me. I don’t believe anyone will ever love me quite the same.
His loss creates a gap in the support I felt I had in this world. You cannot recreate those relationships. As they say, they are one of a kind. Something I didn’t fully appreciate until the loss of it was felt.
The selflessness in his support of me is a commodity that is rare indeed, and something I don’t have in spades. He was a true advocate for and believer in me. He was also my last true connection to many family members I lost contact with through the years. Such a touchstone.
I feel selfish as I write this because my words are about the role he played in my life and about my loss. He is the one who had to do the dirty business of dying. And life continues as normal. It seems to me the whole world should stop spinning for a bit to mourn the loss of such a monument of a man.
I say that, but I haven’t stopped to mourn. It’s too much to deal with all at once, so I grieve in flashes. It’s scary too, a foreshadowing of all the major losses to come in my young life.
It’s a wonder we get through it, and as I write that, I know some don’t. So, even today, in this moment of sorrow, I must remember how lucky I am to know such grief, to have known such love.