Letting go

My Granddad passed away Sunday night.

It all feels like a blur. I’ve listened to my sister cry on the phone, I listened to my Dad’s calm and collected voice when he called and I heard myself scream inside.

I was two months away from going to visit again. Two months. And then, within two days he just left us. I am crushed that I couldn’t be at the hospital, that I couldn’t hold his hand one last time.

My sister and I were very close with my Granddad. We spent a whole lot of time at his house when we were kids. He lived close by and was always very present in our lives.
In the last few years, whenever I had to get on a plane again after a visit home, he was afraid that he wasn’t going to see me again. I told him to “not be silly” and that he was going to live for a long, long time and that we were going to see each other very soon. Just last week he had told me how excited he was that it was “not very long until” I was going to come home. I joked with him about how quick time goes and that I’d be there before he knew it. And then sometimes, time goes quicker.

He passed away in his sleep, without any pain, without any fear. I couldn’t ask for a better way for him (or anyone) to die. I am sure my Grandma was waiting for him on the other side (or, I’d like to think she did).
I am glad he didn’t wake up again just to find himself completely impaired and robbed of all human dignity. I wouldn’t have wanted that for him, he wouldn’t have wanted that for himself.
He was a strong, stubborn and proud man who had survived WWII, who raised two wonderful sons, who lived and cared for himself in his own home until he died. He also was an active member in the community. My sister called this morning and told me jokingly, “You won’t believe the list of people  that he left behind, who are supposed to be contacted upon his death. It’s like a 10-page paper”.  Yes, my Granddad was well-liked and well-connected.
J had joked about my Granddad’s old-schoolish “stubbornness” many times, but by his reaction to his death yesterday, I could tell that he as well deeply admired him.

One thing that hit me yesterday – and excuse me, if that might seem quite obvious to you – was: My dad lost his dad. He was the last actual grandparent that my sister and I had left. My Dad’s Mom died a long time ago when we were only six years old. My Dad was barely 33 when it happened. He was so young. How was he able to deal with losing his Mom at such a young age? Now, that he is 60 himself, does he feel different about losing his dad? Does it get “easier” when you get older? Or do you learn more acceptance of the inevitable?

The only thing I know is that I am terrified of losing my parents some day.

I’ll be getting on a plane on Wednesday, so that I can be home and attend my Granddad’s funeral on Friday. He deserves for me to be there. I know it’s one hell of a trip, but I need to be with my family right now.

Granddad and San

Love you, Granddad!

  1. Oh man, I’m so so sorry for your loss, San. I love how you described your grandpa and that picture of you two is lovely.

    Have a safe trip.
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..Losing patience, and other conundrums =-.

  2. I’m so sorry, San. Please know you are in my thoughts and heart.

  3. I am so sorry :( I hope being with your family will give all of you a lot of comfort. With my dad being 85 I am scared to get such a call.

    .-= Fab´s last blog ..Protected: Stuff =-.

  4. I’m so sorry San. It sounds like your grandfather was a great person. Have a safe trip to Germany.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..A sunrise of fire =-.

  5. :*( i’m glad you will come home! HDGDL und ich denke an euch…
    .-= kim´s last blog ..pause. hiatus. break. time off. peace. =-.

  6. Please know you are not alone during this very difficult time. I am sending you much love and sympathy your way. I am so sorry for your loss.

  7. I was eight years old when my first grandma died. I cried and cried and no one said much of anything to me. Then the minister came to see the family and he spoke kindly to me.
    I was crying that my Grandma woulde miss me.
    He asked me if I believed in Heaven?
    Yes, I said.
    “Well you know, in Heaven there is no such thing as time. Your Grandma will be visiting with her family and friends and loved ones, and before she even has a chance to miss you, you will grow up to be a very old woman, and pass away in your sleep and she will be there to meet you too, but for her, it will only seem like yesterday since she saw your beautiful face.”

    I’m so sorry San. My grandparents Prussmann were my dearest grandparents. They both lived until I was 27 years old. They passed away six months apart. I felt so lucky to have had them, and I still miss them.
    I hope you know that even though you were not with your grandfather at the time, he never doubted for a moment that you loved him. In every call, or letter or loving gesture you made, he knew.
    Please accept my sympathies and many hugs.
    .-= Maribeth´s last blog ..Rainy Days =-.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss, San! My thoughts are with you – it’s good to say Goodbye by attending your Grandpas funeral! Deep sympathies

  9. I am so sorry for your loss, San!!! My thoughts are with you and your family.
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..Moments that will be remembered forever. =-.

  10. I’m so so sorry!!!!! Have a safe trip. It’s the right thing to do. I would do the same thing. My thoughts are with you and your family!. HUG!!!!
    .-= Tinka´s last blog ..Weekend Wrap Up #2 =-.

  11. So sorry for your loss! I’m glad to hear you are able to go home for a few days to be with your family right now.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. I just read your entry after you wrote me. I can’t imagine how heartbroken you must be.

  13. I am glad your Opa didn`t have to suffer. It`s hard to lose such a beloved person. I had a strong bond to my Grandparents,too. My Grandma was my second mom since she lived with us in my parent`s house. She passed away just two months before I flew to the States in 2004. I know how you are feeling, but I really believe that your Grandpa is still close to you and he knows that you love him. My grandparents are still with me …somehow and they are gonna wait for us. :-)

    Have a safe trip. My thoughts are with you and your family!

  14. von herzen mein beileid an dich und deine familie, san. beim lesen deines posts kamen mir die tränen. auch ich stand meinem großvater sehr nahe und verstehe daher deinen schmerz nur zu gut. hab einen guten flug, ich denk an dich und wünsche dir viel kraft… alles liebe, julia

  15. aw san i am so so sorry.sending lots of love and hugs your way.
    .-= katelin´s last blog ..Weekendtini on the rocks. =-.

  16. I am so sorry for your loss!

  17. Like I said earlier today my heart is aching for you…hugs and more hugs!!!

  18. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad that you’re going home for the funeral… it will be nice to mourn and celebrate with loved ones. This post was a great tribute to him, and that picture of the two of you is super cute. Thinking of you….

  19. this post actually made me cry! you have my heartfelt sympathy, san!

  20. San, I am so sorry for your loss. I know excactly how you feel, I went through the same experience a long time ago when I first moved to the US.
    It makes it so much harder when you are so far
    away from your loved ones in times like that.
    I am glad that you will be able to fly home and be with your family.
    Have a safe trip, my thoughts will be with you.

  21. San, I am so very sorry for your loss.
    No words can explain how hard this must be for you and your loved ones. I am glad you get the chance to fly home and be at the funeral.
    I am sending you a big hug.
    My thoughts are with you!

  22. I am so sorry… It’s been 7 months since I lost my Dad (yesterday….) and I know how you feel. Don’t hold your emotions back, don’t try to be strong if not necessary, that’s what I learnt in the past year.
    I am sending you all the strength I have, feel hugged. I am praying for you and your family.


  23. sweetie, i am really sorry for your loss and i think it’s the right thing to come home now and be with your family and attend his funeral. of course not the same reason you wanted to come home but i am sure you have the feeling to be there now. i am sending you my prayers and my love. and thank god for letting him pass away so peacefully.

  24. Ich hatte gerade Tränen in den Augen, als ich deinen Betrag gelesen habe.
    Mein Beileid!
    Es wird dir sicher gut tun bei deiner Familie zu sein!

  25. I am so, so, so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Big internet hugs!
    .-= terra´s last blog ..March’s To Do =-.

  26. I am so sorry about your loss, San! My thoughts go out to you and your family! Many hugs…
    .-= Antje´s last blog ..Protected: ONE OF THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF MY LIFE =-.

  27. Losing a loved one is never easy. I’m so sorry for your loss, but glad to hear you’ll be able to travel overseas to be with your family.

  28. I am really sorry San, I hope it won’t be too hard for you to come home for the funeral and then leave again afterwards. I am glad you get the chance to be there and hope it will help you say good-bye to your grandpa.

    I was about 14 when my grandpa died and I remember my dad cried and I felt weird about it because I had never before seen him cry and I think never again afterwards. He was about 45 back then and I think it never gets easier no matter how old you are.

    Take care and feel hugged

  29. Oh, mein schaetz, I’m so sorry. My thoughts are with you.

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