When People Leave
How do we find gratitude in death?
Two weeks ago, my grandfather died. And I've been at a loss for words. I’ve never experienced death up close like this before. I called him Poppy. He was one of the people in my life who I thought would live forever. I know people don't live forever, but I swore Poppy would.
Death is shocking. It's so final. It makes life feel so small.
When I got the news, I was boarding a flight back home. It was surreal to hear the words, "Poppy died this morning." My world paused, but everyone else's around me didn't. What a strange and disorienting feeling. I cried the entire flight home.
I'm sad that he is no longer here.
I'm sad that he died from cancer.
I'm sad that I won't be able to speak to him or text him or laugh with him anymore.
I hear his voice saying, "you are dynamite, kiddo!" clear as day when I close my eyes.
I think of him when I eat chocolate and how he had a candy closet stacked to the ceiling in his basement.
I feel his nose against my head, deeply inhaling after a peck like he was taking in every moment of his goodbyes.
My Poppy was special.
I had my first book signing in his backyard.
He cared deeply about us and loved us hard.
He let me be a kid when I was a kid.
He was generous.
He was loving.
He is unforgettable.
We thought he was getting better.
He thought he was getting better.
How do we find gratitude when someone leaves?
How do we make peace with losses like this?
I'm not sure how life works or why it goes on for some and stops for others. I feel confused by this grief. I just don't want to forget, ya know?
I don't want the memories to fade.
I am grateful to have been loved by him in this lifetime. What an extraordinary gift it was to know him.
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