On this day, exactly one year ago, my world changed forever. There’s a lot of backstory, so this won’t make sense to everyone. Bit here it is –
I was supposed to cut his hair the next day. I knew he was sick; In my logical brain, I knew it was coming. But I thought I had (at least) one more day.
It was almost 5am: my phone rang – it was my Uncle Kevin. I remember rolling my eyes, but answering the phone. Thinking – he was looking for his allowance.
I answered and he said: “so I guess you’ve heard the news.”
Me (in that foggy stage but already starting to think he worst) : “No, what?”
Kevin: “Your Grandfather passed.”
Me (straight to Mom mode): “How do you know this? Are you awake? Who told you?”
Kevin: “Doug (my Mom’s husband) called and told me.”
Me: “Are you ok? I’m going to call my Mom and call you right back.”
Me: Starts crying hysterically, while shaking Derek awake, while calling my Mom’s landline. Thinking it’s not real. No answer at my Mom’s. No answer in my Mom’s cell phone. I’m thinking (hoping) it’s not real. I call Doug’s cell. He answers. I tell him I’ve just talked to Uncle Kevin.
Derek is awake.
Doug: “Shit, he wasn’t supposed to tell you. Do you want to talk to your Mom?”
Me: “Yes” Also me – losing my mind.
I honestly don’t know if I believed my Grandpa had passed until I talked to my Mom. She sounded so strong. I was so scared. She asked if I wanted to come there and see him before he was taken away. I told her I definitely did not. I hadn’t seen someone that meant so much to me like that. I was so scared. Derek promised to help me get tasks done until he was gone.
I texted Dianna, Morianna and Josh.
Thank god fo Derek. Derek asked what he should do. What he could do. This was so hard for him too – but he had my back.
I had a busy day, and week coming up. I had a quarterly meeting that day. I had keys to drop off. I contacted my office. My yoga studio. With “My Grandpa just died. I won’t be there today, or this week.” Thank god for their support in that. Derek took me to drop the keys – thinking we would kill enough time.
We pulled up to the house. Derek went in to see if he was still there. Turns out it takes a long time to get a body picked up. He was still there. At this point it’s been a few hours and I’m thinking maybe I can go in.
I go into the house.
My Mom hugs me – I’m hysterical. I remember asking her why she was laughing at me. She was crying, and I was being ridiculous. I hugged my Uncle Gord- we sobbed.
I don’t know when I learned this – but I knew my Grandpa’s body was in his bedroom. Holding the door open. At some point I also learned the trauma of the situation. The ambulances. The phone calls from the paramedics to my Mom. My Grandma having to do CPR. His body had been “cleaned up” and the breathing tube removed before I arrived.
When I arrived – my Mom asked if I wanted to see him. I was so scared. She took my hand and took me to him. He looked so peaceful. He had a blanket over him. His hands on his chest. I knelt beside him with my mom and touched his head. It was still warm. It wasn’t so scary. But it was real. I told him how much I loved him. I held his hands, touched his head, and told him how much I loved him.
It was surreal.
I went to the kitchen. We all
Sat around the table with him right there – holding the door open. It was our current normal
There’s a thing we do in my family – maybe all families – we take care of each other.
In my family- My grandparents were the head of our family. They were the bosses. My Mom was the oldest sibling – the one who took on what had to be done when they couldn’t. And when my Mom needed help – I did my best to take that on.
I’ll never forget that day – my Grandma and my Mom we’re losing their shit. And so was I. But my natural instinct was to make them both eat. Make them food. My Uncle and I cleaned my grandpas blood off of the carpet at one point. We are both awful with blood.
When they took his body
I remember my Mom sobbing “please don’t take my dad”
My Grandma breaking down.
Most of all – I remember us all standing together. We have had a hell of a year. But we are all closer, and stronger. And he’s always said we shouldn’t be sad for him. So today I celebrate the life of an amazing human. I appreciate the ways he has contributed to the person I am today. I carry his legacy, his name, and his life with me – always.
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