My grandfather died on my father's birthday... (long)

Friday, October 24th.
I went to see him about two and a half weeks ago in the hospital and I did not recognize him. I had to check with the nurse and she checked the chart. It hurt to see him so… changed. It frightened me. I took my three-year old angel with me so he could see her (for the last time?). He recognized us, which made me think how bad it all was. He was in serious pain, on pain meds, and still had all his mental faculties working properly.

My grandmother wasn’t in the room with us and I needed her to be there with me because I was afraid. I didn’t know what to say to him, I just chattered inanely about my daughter’s progress in school (she’s autistic and in an early preschool program). I stayed for ten minutes max and never said those three little words. WTF is wrong with me??

You may say he knew… that my coming to see him was evidence enough of my love for him but why do I feel so guilty? I was scared and I didn’t stay long, I should have stayed longer. I felt bad and I didn’t want to cry in front of him. To me, that’s like saying, “You’re pretty much a goner” to his face and that’s kind of cruel. But I say, he had many other things on his mind and who knows what one thinks of when Death is standing in the corner.

He wasn’t a good man in his younger years. He was a bad mormon (yup, some of my family are mormons). He drank, smoked, and ran around on my grandmother. He beat the shit out of his children which in turn came full circle to my mother, brother and I. He was neglectful and hurtful to his family for many years. He never hit me or yelled outright but he complained about everything and gave you the longest, most boring lectures ever spoken in the history of the world!

No matter, I still loved him. Summers would be spent at my grandparents house swimming and visiting with my cousins, going shopping with grandma and so on. I was the one who visited the most, who listened to him the most, who cared the most? He disowned my brother for his long hair and one time he called me a whore but honestly… that was the way he was raised, I think he forgot to look at the images of a white, long-haired Jesus and forgot that he went "whorin’ " during his youth.

(OK, a sidenote. Jesus reflects the image of his followers, I don’t agree that he IS white. And I am not religious, spiritual but not religious.)

I forgave him the “whore” comment, I forgave him the lectures. I forgave the endless complaining on worldly affairs, even forgave the contant use of the “N” word (he lived in Utah). I loved my grandfather.

I will be attending his funeral and wake. If he is lingering, he will see me and maybe hear the “I love you” I couldn’t say when he was alive the last time I saw him. I kind of hope so. big sigh

I’m sorry for your loss SanguineSpider. The guilt you are experiencing is a normal part of the grieving process. Just remember that no matter how much time you had spent with your Grandfather, you would still say it was not enough.

Thanks for that, Encinitas. I wonder what other forms my grief will take in the process.

The loss of a loved one is a deep sadness. No words of mine will make this experience easier. However, please know that you are in my thoughts. Sending warm thoughts your way.