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The Death of My Heart
I had had other family members pass away. It wasn’t the first time it had happened for me. But this time everything was different. It was because I was in the room with him when he passed. We all were. And I just kept thinking to myself that I could’ve done something to keep him alive, even though I knew there wasn’t.
My Grandpa May was lively. He was always joking around with us, and always had something to say. One of my fondest memories is wearing flip flops, and walking past him, and he would always try to step on my toes. Actually, he did that to everyone with flip flops. He was just a good guy. He had been married to my Grandma May, whom I’m named after, for 61 years.
But a few years back, about 5 or so, I’m guessing, Grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. I can’t recall what type right now, but I remember that I was so scared. None of us knew how much longer he had, and I feared for the worst, but Grandpa didn’t seem to be worried, not in front of us anyway. He acted the same, and joked and played with us. He was just, to me, one of those guys I thought would always be around.
Then came June of this year, 2011. Dad walked in, and he had some bad news for us. Grandpa’s doctors had told him that he only had about 6 months to live. I felt tears coming into my eyes, but then I thought, he’s fought it off for this long, I know he can keep on fighting. There’s no way he’ll give up.
I still don’t believe that he gave up. I think that he knew it was his time to go. I remember the day before he passed, I walked out to Dad’s garage and we started to talk about Grandpa.
“I want to go see him.” I told Dad. Grandpa was at home, Hospice taking care him.
“Really?” Dad asked. I nodded.
“Yes.” I told him. He sighed, and shook his head.
“You know, it’s not the same Grandpa you know, right?” He asked me. I nodded.
“I’m aware. But I want to see him.” I said. Dad nodded.
“We’ll go tomorrow.” He said.
The next day arrived quickly. Mom and I sat at our computers, and I was just waiting on Dad to come out of the bathroom, where he was getting dressed. Suddenly, the phone rang, and it was Aunt Bonnie, my Dad’s sister. She told my Dad that we had better get there soon, since it really didn’t look good. It had only been 3 weeks since the doctor told him how long he had to live.
When we arrived at the house, I was calm. I was thinking to myself that everything wasn’t as bad as everyone was making it out to be. I was thinking he’d be fine. After all, I had just seen him a few weeks prior. And he wasn’t his old self, but he was still OK.
I walked into the room where he was lying, and I didn’t cry at first. But I turned to Dad, and saw that he was crying, and that was when I started. Grandpa was lying in his Hospice bed, just looking so helpless, and pale, I didn’t know what to do.
“Do you want to hug him?” Dad asked. I nodded, and for a moment, I just stood there. But eventually, I hugged him, and felt better because I did.
“Would anyone like to have some alone time with Grandpa?” The nurse asked. I raised my hand, just something I naturally did, since I was used to it at school. So, Grandma and I stood there with him, and we held hands, and cried.
Just about an hour later, the nurse went to check his pulse, and he was gone. We all began to cry even more, and I held onto Dad, but then, I felt like I was suffocating, and I left the room. My Aunt Sandra took me home before the funeral home people took him. I couldn’t stay and see that.
I thought everything would be different, and it is now. It’s hard to go to see Grandma, knowing that Grandpa won’t be there, except for his ashes.
But I know that he’s watching over us all. I just know it. He’s looking up from the sky, smiling on us, proud of how great we’re doing, healing. It was tough, but in the end, I’m glad that he’s not in suffering anymore. He’s in a better place. And I didn’t really believe in all that Heaven stuff, not until he left us, and I knew he went someplace good.