Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's been a year since he died..

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.


Courtney said...

So sorry for your families loss. If I remember reading correctly he did from Alzheimer's right? That's such a horrible sad way to go. Not there is a happy way to go but some ways are worse than others. And you're correct the happy memories are nice to have but nothing fills that black hole where that person used to be and sometimes the happy memories hurt because you realize those good times won't come to you again. You seem to have a good outlook on this however which is good.

This was a nicely done post. I'm sure your grandpa was a wonderful man and proud of you. He was very handsome. May he rest in peace.

Brad said...

Sorry for your loss. Death is inevitable but sucks and it's true, nothing fills that void and it will always hurt a little bit. Only lessens with time but never fully goes away. Sounds like he had a positive impact on your life and that you realize how special that is. You're an amazing person and thank you for sharing this. I hope for you and your family to find comfort and happiness today Miss Ashly.

Tyler said...

I understand this so well. Which you know. I know how much you miss him and sorry you're hurting today. Call me if you need anything.

He was a handsome devil. That's a great photo. -big squishy hug- <3

Tess Danesi said...

My grandma died when I was pregnant with my daughter; a daughter who is now nearly 18. I still miss my grandma all the time. It's less and less over the years but a dull ache remains in my heart when I think of her. My only real regret in life is that she never got to see my daughter.

We're both lucky that we had fantastic grandparents who were magical and important parts of our lives. Remembering them with love and honoring their memory by being the best we can be is about all one can do when they're gone.

Jihan said...

yep you always will miss him, God bless his soul.

Jack and Jill said...

We understand the concern about your grandfather passing away on your brother's birthday. Yes, it seems silly, as when we've been in similar situations we realize that one day in either direction might not make much of a difference. But at the same time as you point out, you wouldn't want your brother's birthday tainted, as it were, by the loss of someone special. It's not as if you're only going to mourn your grandfather the year he passes. No, it's something that will be commemorated every year on your brother's birthday.

I believe I've said as much before, but your grandfather's passing sounds very similar to the circumstances under which my grandmother passed away almost fifteen years ago. Mention of sitting around the house waiting, wondering if today would be the day, or if tomorrow would, is incredibly familiar to me, and brings back very vivid memories. The knowledge that your grandfather's eventual passing brought an end to his pain, the surreal "can't believe it's really happened" feeling, and actually watching the sunrise are all things that remind me of my grandmother's passing.

Even though it's gotten easier in the last year, know that you will continue to miss him, and that there are times when it will undoubtedly be difficult to process. Know that most people experience this, and that you are not alone. You are lucky to have had him in your life as long as you did, and the treasured memories that remain will be intangible reminders of your relationship with him forever.

Deepest thanks to you for sharing this with us.