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The Final Death
I didn’t really know him. My Grandpa that is. I remember it clear as day even though it was six years ago. Fog covered everything. I thought in the summer it was supposed to be sunny, but not in Washington of course. Although I was nine years old I still wasn’t really aware of what was happening. When I stepped out of our car the cold bit my nose. At the corner of my eye I spotted my grandmother’s garden, my aunts and uncles made the small array of flowers when she died twenty-one years ago, all the flowers were droopy and on the verge of dying.
My dad, my two sisters and I walked inside the dreary house. Right when we opened the door the smell of musty cigarette smoke and an old person’s home filled my nose. Everything was dark. The wood floors, the stained carpets, even the white walls had a brown feel. Grandpa’s room was straight ahead. My dad peeked his head in the door and motioned us to quietly walk in. I didn’t know what to expect. I had never seen a dead or almost dead person before. Anyone could walk into that room and immediately tell something was wrong. There were about a dozen people crowded into that small dim room. Once again everything was dark. Everyone had either blank or sad expressions pasted on their faces. Aunt Jenny slowly got up and pulled the blanket off my grandpa’s feet. I hadn’t even looked at my grandpa yet, but I wish I didn’t. He had no color anywhere on his body. Just pure white it was almost angelic, or it would have been if it weren’t for his wrinkled skin. If I hadn’t asked I would have thought he was already dead.
“Psst, Mom,” I whispered, “Mom?” She finally glanced my way. “Why is she doing that?” I questioned.
“She is checking his feet: they turn purple when he is dead,” she replied sadly. How sad, I thought. Afraid to ask any more questions, I just started to observe. My young cousin, Logan, stood up to go talk to him. He was mumbling to my lifeless grandfather about God and Heaven, asking if he had a relationship with Jesus. My grandpa, who had not spoken for hours if not days, moved his mouth. No one knows what he said or if he said something at all, but it gave us hope.
My dad stood up and quietly asked us to go out of the room, so my sister, Brianna, my cousin, Lindsay, and I left. We walked out to the garden. There was a short, but steep little hill, we had to climb to get to the small garden. In the center there was a cold stone bench starting to be overtaken by green moss. We circled around looking at the glum rose bushes. It was silent, no birds, no bugs, no wind, just silence. Lindsay sat down on the chilled rock bench soon Brianna and I followed. She couldn’t hold it in and started sobbing. Brianna leaned over and gave her a side hug. I had no feeling, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Never have I been emotional, so I didn’t know what to do. We sat there motionless with just the faint whimper of Lindsay in the background.
Soon it got too cold to handle, so the three of us walked up to my aunt and uncle’s house which was right next door. Finally, Lindsay pulled herself together and stopped crying, but for a while it looked like she was always on the verge.
Most of my cousins were sitting around my aunt’s living room. I could hear the fake laughs and small talk being exchanged amongst themselves. Not many smiles were in the room and if there were they were false. Brianna, Lindsay, and I joined in on the conversation, but we didn’t say much.
An hour or two later my aunt, Lori, walked in the door with a tear streaked face. Lindsay broke down crying again and left with her mom. Without anything being said I knew what happened. One by one my aunts and uncles came in taking their children outside. Patiently, Brianna and I waited for one of our parents to walk in the door. Finally, my dad opened the door and lead us into my little cousin’s room. He told us the obvious news, that my grandfather had died. Although I was not surprised my face still turned to stone. Brianna broke down crying. Mariah was too young to understand the recent happenings.
The four of us walked back down to my grandfather’s. There was already a car there to pick up his deceased body. The thought that their dad would never be there again was still sinking in for my aunts and uncles. It was hard for everyone. But isn’t death always hard?
I will never forget the feeling of sadness when I had first walked in that home. It was almost like a plague that had spread over everyone who entered. For months after, the plague still lingered in my grandpa’s house.
Death is so final, there is not much that can prepare you for that experience. -Anonymous. I wasn’t prepared for the passing of my grandfather, but through the grace of God my family got through it.