Thursday, July 24, 2008

One of the roughest days

Today was one of the roughest days I've ever lived through. I had to break the news to my daughter that her beloved grandpa passed away yesterday. I had to be the one to break her heart.

She was at her boyfriend's house when I got the call from her grandma. The initial call went to my voice mail and when I heard who it was, I expected to call back and find out the ex was in jail again, or had killed himself. It never crossed my mind that anything had happened to anyone else. It was so sudden, so unexpected.

I called my daughter and told her that I needed to pick her up right away. I didn't say anything more and luckily she didn't ask. Once I got there I asked if her boyfriend could come over too because I had some bad news to share. I figured two supportive people would be better than one. No one spoke a word on the ride home. Fortunately he only lives five minutes away.

The thought had also never crossed her mind that something had happened to her grandpa. She figured maybe it was something with her father, or that my sister had to go into the hospital again (she was just in there towards the end of June for pneumonia), or even that our bunny had died. When we got home and I told her, all the color drained from her face and I thought she was going to crumple to the floor.

Since the day she was born, she has been grandpa's little angel, his princess. She had him wrapped around her little finger and he enjoyed every second of it. For most of her life her grandparents lived within 45 minutes of us, so she saw them often. They regularly volunteered to babysit, at least one weekend a month, sometimes more. They even took her on a couple vacations with them and they came along with us when we took her to Disney World.

She asked the same question I did...why couldn't it have been her father or even my father that died. Why did the man she loved most have to be the one to pass. The man that taught her how to sneak candy into the movie theater when she was little. The man that taught her that bread, popcorn and lobster were just an excuse to eat lots of butter. The man that taught her it was okay to have ice cream before dinner cuz you could always get your leftover dinner in a box and take it home, you couldn't take home melted ice cream.

Guilt has already set in for all the things she didn't get to share with him. For having not gone to visit him since 2006. For not having called him more often once they retired and moved away. For not having told him that she finally ate a Kitchen Sink at Colonial, an ice cream place they used to frequent and a dessert they often talked about getting but never did because they knew the two of them would never even get half way through it. I told her she shouldn't beat herself up over those things. I told her to focus on all the amazing times they did share together, because she had such a wonderful relationship with him and has so many great memories.

There isn't going to be a funeral or memorial service of any kind. He didn't want any of that. I think that will add to her sadness, that she doesn't get that chance to say goodbye. We will be going down to visit her grandma next month sometime. I told her we'd find some way to hold a small memorial of our own. Maybe throw golf balls (his favorite sport) with messages of love on them into the ocean and then go to dinner, with ice cream as the first course.

I too am feeling the loss. I may hate his son, but I loved him. He was so kind, so friendly. Always seemed to have a smile on his face. But my loss in no way compares to that of my daughter, so I cry with her and for her instead of for myself.


Post a Comment

<< Home