June 6, 2014

he would have been ninety.

the death of a loved one is an amputation.
- c.s. lewis, a grief observed

how it is that time passes and somehow the years grow longer on the side of loss, than life?

i've learned that someone can be gone longer than the entire breadth of your time with them and yet there are moments when the weight of their hand still weighs heavy, imprinted, on your shoulder.

and in the middle of happy moments the ache of a memory surprises you freshly and brings you to tears as if it was just the other day, long after you thought you had accepted it. 


seventeen years is longer than fourteen, yet still i cling to the few remnants of his voice and the visions of him that i can remember. 

of the daffodils he cut fresh for my every birthday.

of his dancing with moves reminiscent of tevya's to ballads like "beat it" at christmas parties and his dark blue trousers powdered with the sandy dirt from working in the garden. my secret garden. 

of his stirring the pot of hot cereal every morning with the wooden spoon softly patting the sides and his sitting down and scooting his chair across the wood floor with a soft scrape to help me with my homework every afternoon. 

of his shoulders that seemed so broad and his arms that would wrap me up and keep me safe and hugs that would calm the roughest storms inside. 

of his encouraging me to try even when I didn't have to and to be better than i thought i could be and his telling me of how he knew i could be. 

of the man that didn't have to love me as his own, but did. 

of a wet carnation hitting the coffin with a gentle slap as it lowered into the ground on that stormy day that broke me.

my heart will hurt no matter how long the years grow on this side of life without him. there are still so many times i replay the last days and wish for a different ending. for more time and more words and more hugs.

but the truth is, the time that we did have was a blessing and that the life lived together is worth the loss, even in the darkest moments of grief when it doesn't feel worth the ache. because the man i called grampa was one of the most important men i will ever know, and i will forever consider it an honor to be part of his legacy. 

and, really, it's a privilege that i am able to mourn him so.

because even though he was flawed, he loved me well. and when i think of how God loves his children, i remember him. 

thanks for everything, grampa. 


1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful. I also have a closer relationship with my Grandpa than most, brought tears to my eyes. I'm sorry for your loss.


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