It has been almost two months since my grandfather passed away. He left us suddenly, without any long drawn stay at a hospital or any sort of medical drama. He sat on the couch on Friday, watched the news with keen interest, went to bed, and the next day he was gone. The understated manner of his passing resonates clearly with how he lived his life. He was a champion of his community and his family, a man who prided himself on his work and nothing else. He never wanted the spotlight or validation for what he did. He raised four children under great financial strain and left a family in a place where they never imagined they would be five decades ago. He had 75 years on this planet, and I am sure if one was to measure the contents of his life, the majority of it would comprise of selfless work. Work for his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his parents. His greatest vice was to indulge in sweets from time to time, forbidden to him due to his diabetes. For the twenty years that I knew him for, he never spoke ill of anyone, and this is something I doubt I can say for anybody else.
I have always had this distant vision of what death looks like. I’ve only ever known this romanticized version of death that I’ve been familiarised with through songs, movies, and other forms of media. Up close there’s no grand exit, no prolonged suffering. In crude terms, it seems like a file wiped out from a hard disk. Someone just leaves and can never come back in the form you have always known them. Emotions accrued over two decades culminate in a sudden piercing through your heart and mind, and the world is forever a different place. I often wonder where my grandfather is. I hope that surely, after a life full of intense and frequent struggle, he is at peace.
Was satisfaction something he felt when he had to leave so suddenly? This question will forever be in my mind until it is my time to go. I hope he felt the love that I and many others had for him.
His value in our lives will forever be irreplaceable and the void left by his passing will always be there. I just wish that I can follow his example and make decisions in life which are not only to my benefit but contain a holistic view of everyone close to me.
I wish that I can make him proud even in the afterlife. I hope life gives me challenges and I face them with the same grace that he did. I want to carry on his legacy in every step I take and I hope his memory guides me through all the missteps along the way. In the 75 years that he was on this planet, he successfully carried out multiple roles and although I will always feel sorrow for all the things he did not get to see, I know he will see those things, whether I know it or not. I will pass on the values he instilled in me to the next generation, and they will surely know how great their great-grandfather was.
I miss him every single day, and often when I go to bed at night, I think about him. I hope he has a bed as comfortable as the one he made me possible to have and I hope heaven has a radio for him to listen to. I hope he finally gets to eat all the things he loved eating without the fear of his diabetes acting up. I hope he watches the news every day and goes for his morning walk. Most of all, I hope he knows that his memory lives beyond his earthly presence and will do so for time immemorial.
His loss has made me a more considerate and thoughtful human being and he will continue to account for my improvement without asking for any acknowledgment, in death just like in life.