Today is the birthday of one of my younger brothers. He turns 26 today. I turn 27 on June 15th making me not even a full year older than he is. He lives in Northern California so I won't see him today. I can't exactly remember the last time we celebrated birthdays together though it was at some point when I lived out in California years ago.
Today is also the date that makes it one year since our grandfather passed away. I remember sitting in my aunt's living room, we knew his time was getting closer and all I could hope for was that he would pass before midnight struck on the 8th or hold on for another day so he didn't pass on my brother's birthday. I know it seems like a silly thing to hope for but no one wants the day of their birth, a day most people celebrate, to be a day that is also marked as the loss of someone you love who was an important person in your life. You can celebrate their life, remember the good times, all that stuff but it still hurts. There's no amount of happy memories and laughter that can fill that void where that person used to be. Those things just make it easier to deal with.
I sat in my aunt's living room and after the clock was passed
midnight, I knew it wouldn't be much longer. Maybe I was just bracing
myself for it to happen, I don't know. I didn't sleep much. I was tired
but I felt restless. Around 6 AM, we got the news, he was gone. I
remember feeling like I needed to cry but being unable to. In a way, I
was happy he wasn't in pain anymore and it was hard at that moment to be
sad about him dying because I knew he wasn't suffering anymore for the
first moment in a long time.I went outside and watched the sun rise for the first time in a long time. I remember I kept thinking that maybe I was dreaming because everything felt so surreal right then. I was thinking that maybe this wasn't really happening, maybe I'd wake up and everything would be fine. It didn't take long for me to snap out of that and fall in to feeling numb. I didn't want to cry or feel sad so I just tried to feel nothing and focused more on other things. I do that a lot. I'm not an overly emotional person and dealing with emotions that aren't anger is so hard for me. Being emotional around other people, even if it's family, is also very hard for me. I have a hard time opening up like that.
I really can't believe it's been a year. It gotten easier to deal with as more time went by, though. I know most people don't see their grandparents often but I grew up seeing mine often and they were both a big influence on my life. I grew up looking up to my grandpa. I admired him so much. I don't cry much over his passing anymore but I've never been much of a crier. I do still occasionally get hit with sadness and it always happens over things that I wouldn't expect to make me think of and miss him.
Sometimes when I find myself missing him, I
sit out on front porch and just look out at the stars and clear my head
or think about happy memories I have with him. And I have so many good memories with him. He used to sit out on the
porch all the time and I used to like to sit out there with him when I
was taking a break from playing or doing something. Sometimes we talked,
sometimes we would just sit quietly. Granted, the sitting quietly never lasted long for me. I learned more from him than I ever
realized and more than he probably ever thought he'd passed on to me. He was a great man and I'm happy I was
lucky enough to have him be such a part of my life. I still miss him but then again
I probably always will.