Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Grandpa Keith passed away...

I got a phone call at 6:30 this morning from my dad who informed me that my Grandpa Keith passed away last night sometime between midnight and 2 am. I guess overall this should be a blessing because he has been sick for a while and has been in almost constant pain for over a year. He was 87 years old, over 60 of those years were spent married to one of my heroes, my Grandma Ruth. She seems to be holding together pretty well right now. She is very busy with funeral arrangements. I am thinking next week, with the funeral over and the reality of Grandpa's death setting in, she will be filled with loneliness. I wish there was something I could do to help her.

Death has always been a hard topic for me. It is one that I try to avoid at all costs. It is something I don't grasp and I struggle with the meaning. Although I believe there is an afterlife, the concept and reality of death is one that will ever remain ambiguous in my mind. While everybody says, "This is for the best, he was in pain", I have a hard time understanding the "sweet release of death" that so many people talk about. These phrases bring little solace to me. I suppose I will never understand death until I pass on and ask God myself. Now we are just left with the memories of the person he was and the life he lived. We will have to find comfort in our recollection of stories of Grandpa. I do have many of those. A large chunk of my childhood was spent walking in the shadows and footsteps of my Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Keith. They lived less that 3 minutes from my home and they always welcomed my visits.

Because my understanding of death is very obscure, I will have to try my best to understand it the same way, I assume, others do--by using the over-used cliches such as "He is at peace and death can be a blessing." Maybe we aren't supposed to understand death in this life. Maybe that is one of our challenges. Death is perplexing and I suppose I may never fully understand it but I will always cower in its shadows, afraid of who its next victim will be.

Sydney is like a little beacon for me. She is so sweet and innocent. We have not told Sydney that Grandpa has died. She is at school today and we didn't want her to have to be alone at school after hearing this news. In March when my Nana passed away, Sydney had a very hard time grasping what this meant and I imagine this situation will be no different. So, until this afternoon, Sydney won't know that Grandpa is gone. However we did have a humbling experience with her this morning. While we were getting ready, Sydney informed us that she dreamed about Grandpa Keith last night. Loren and I gave each other a quizzical look and asked her what she dreamed about. She said that her and grandpa were just talking. She told us that grandpa was happy and he was walking and he looked healthy. She told us that "a lot of little kids bug grandpa Keith, but I don't". Then she told us the next time we visit Grandpa at the nursing home she wants to give him a big hug. I told her that Grandpa would like that...and that was the end of our conversation. Children are wonderful.

Well those are my ramblings. My family is always bothered that I don't cry. I have yet to cry because Grandpa Keith is gone. Maybe by reading this blog they will understand that I am not "heartless"...I just don't cry. Everybody works differently. My outlet is not with tears. I will miss my Grandpa and crying won't change the fact that he is gone. The only thing crying does is makes my eyes swell, my mascara run and makes me wake up the next day with a "crying hangover" headache. But, I will miss him in my own way.



4 comments:

Karen Anne said...

I'm so very sorry to hear that, Shamae! I know it's difficult loosing someone close... it just sucks basically. When I lost my grandmother (about 8 months ago) I didn't cry either - I felt like I didn't have the right to do so, or something. But it was hard loosing her, she was my last remaining grandparent and we were close. Somehow all the good memories helps, you know :-) And I'd just like to say that you're not perceived as heartless even though you don't cry or show off you mourning publically. Everyone's got their own way of dealing with death and the loss of a dear one. I'm so sorry, though.... I think about you guys and miss you very much! Love always, Karen

TheAlbrechtSquad said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Grandpa. I never used to be a crier either (this last deployment changed all that) and people always thought I was heartless but they just don't understand. I know you are a wonderful and caring person (((((HUGS)))))

wendys said...

You were lucky to have such a close relationship with your granparents. That is great that you have so many memories to hold onto. Let me know if you do want a shoulder to cry on!

Janalyn said...

I am sorry that you lost your grandpa, Shamae. I hope you will be comforted, and hold the memories that you have of him close to your heart. I hope your grandma will be ok too. Know that we are thinking of you and your family at this time! hugs