This post is a bit more sad than usual. Today I attended the funeral of my grandfather, we always called him Pop. Losing him was sudden, but I’ve found so far that it always is. In the space of six months I have lost two grandparents, both of my father’s parents are now gone, and of course we are all heartbroken. Yet, we go on. We go on because that is what they would have wanted.
My Pop was a straight-talking man, he shared his opinions regularly, enjoying teasing me about my hair or my clothes, often telling me I needed to lose weight while offering me fruit cake (more like insisting I had a slice, but oh well). He made me laugh, and although he didn’t always say it, I knew he was proud of me. I’ll miss his big hugs and bristly goodbye kisses, I’ll miss how he’d ask me if I had found a Scottish boyfriend yet (he has to be Scottish, English just won’t do), and I’ll miss his stubbornness, too (a trait that runs in the family). I just keep thinking that I wish I had known him better, heard more of his stories, but dwelling on those kinds of thoughts only make you sad, and I’d rather honour the memories I do have.
I came home early from my first semester in China to be with my family and go to the funeral. Being so far away when something like this happens makes the whole thing quite surreal. It felt like it wasn’t actually happening, like it was just a really bad dream. Coming home solidified it, having family around me going through the same emotions just made it click in my head. He really was gone. It’s so strange, one minute a person is there, and then they’re not. I still can’t quite fathom it, not really. I visit my gran at their house, (step-gran technically, but I’ve always had three grandmothers, unusual maybe but I consider myself lucky) and I expect to see him sitting in his armchair, but he’s not there. His oxygen tanks are still in the kitchen, just sitting there, his “Scottish born and bred” mugs still in the display cabinet, but he’s not there anymore… I just keep telling myself he’s no longer in pain, and that’s the part I try to focus on.
My Pop was a good man, human as any, but still good. Losing him was a shock, as it was to the whole family. Gathering together and sharing our grief made his death just a little bit easier, at least we still have each other. I suppose it reminds us how uncertain life really is, that life does end, and that we must make the most of it. Pop did what he wanted in life, he did what he loved, and never took no for an answer. Sometimes that was frustrating, and sometimes it was inspiring. I’m proud to say he was my grandfather. I like to think I’m a little bit like him.
I wonder why I wrote this to share with the world on the vastness of the internet, but I think I just wanted to say goodbye in more than just one word, because he deserved that. I could have written this in my journal I suppose, but I guess I also wanted the world to know he was loved, and still is.
So goodbye Pop, I hope you’re in a better place now. You are missed, and though I feel my eyes well up a little when I think of you, I will stay strong and keep going, as you would want me to. Head up, and deep breath, it will be okay.