Two months ago, I was awakened early one morning to a rather depressing phone call: My grandfather, Dad’s dad, had passed away.
This morning, history repeated itself. Once again, an early morning phone call, once again, depressing mood, once again, death. This time, it’s my mother’s father.
PaPa Ed had pneumonia on top of bad congestive heart failure. Apparently the fluid was building up so much around his heart that the lasix (diuretic) couldn’t keep pace with it. He was suffering so much, my mother tells me, that toward the end, his wife and family were praying for him to die and end his misery. When he first went into the hospital a few weeks ago, he had been more chipper; at one moment, he would be saying, “I’m just so tired, so very tired.” Yet next, he would ask Kathy (my aunt) in a cheerful voice, “So, Kathy, have you bought plane tickets for Laura’s wedding yet? Would you look into prices for me?” That still warms my heart.
Last week, he cried for the first time about his physical condition. He said he was just so tired of fighting; he just wanted to take the long road Home. This morning, my aunt and uncle were bracing him on either side, helping him stand up to try to drain the fluids built up in his chest; PaPa said, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m so tired. I’d just rather die.” They set him back down on his bed, he lied down, rolled over, and died.
PaPa was a very quiet man, but of all my relatives, he is the most like the man I’m marrying. Tall, quiet, contemplative, big fan of electronics and gadgets, very much a plane fanatic. When Brian and I visited a month ago, the two of them spent a day at a field where model airplanes are flown. My PaPa has several models that he used to fly there; unfortunately, his vision got too poor for it (he couldn’t see the planes once they went a distance, and several were crashed this way).
I haven’t cried yet. It hasn’t really sunken in.
My grandmother will be a basket case. I want to fly out more for her than the funeral. I missed my PaPa Carl’s funeral and all the goings-on around it; I don’t want to miss this. I feel very close to this grandmother, and want very much to be there for her.
School starts Tuesday. I may very well miss the very first day of school, and almost certainly a part of the first week. I don’t know what I’m goingto do.
What a shitty way to begin, and then end, my summer. Everyone’s time comes, and it was both of their’s, but…well, saying good bye is never easy or without grief.