My grandfather passed away a week ago today.
I didn’t find out until late Thursday night. I had been experiencing panic attacks since the previous week and my whole family decided to keep it a secret until my finals at uni were over.
I was the last one to know.
As a grandchild, I mourn him as the only consistent father figure in my life. He and my grandmother are the reason I was able to afford uni at all and he always had the backs of my mom, my aunt, my brothers, my cousins, and me.
He was a good son, good brother, and he tried to be a good husband.
As a writer, I mourn the loss of his stories. The man served 7 tours in Vietnam as a Green Beret and then as a pilot. He grew up on a farm during the tail end of the Great Depression and remembered when plows were pulled by horses.
There’s a city ordinance in Port Angeles, Washington that forbids the landing of helicopters in residential yards. Why? Because my grandfather once landed a helicopter in a residential yard.
The man hunted moose in Alaska during the dead of winter and single-handedly laid tile for the whole of my parents’ first house.
As a young soldier, he was stationed in Japan where he met a cute young woman working a ticket booth. He kept asking her out until, to his shock, she said yes. Last year, we celebrated their 60th anniversary. It would have been their 61st in barely a month.
I guess a part of me saw this coming. He was 80 years old and his health had been in decline for some time.
It still hurts. I still love him with all my heart and I can only pray I will see him in Heaven.
I’m going to be spending the next month with my grandmother since all the other adults are in school or working after the funeral. The funeral is Wednesday and we have a lot of preparation to do before then.