Dearly Departed

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I don’t like death as much as dealing with its aftermath.

As humans we have a strange way of dealing with our dearly departed. I have recently lost my grandfather.

Admittedly he was a distant figure in my childhood just occupying a space on the chair when my grandparents would visit. He’d sit there in silence – perhaps because he was losing his hearing when I became aware of the world – and our conversations would start and end in the semi-formal greeting and goodbye wish. He was the strong silent type offering few words as sustenance for us grandchildren to grow. I do however remember when

I turned 13 he told me I’d better ‘pull my socks up’. Heavens knows what that meant, perhaps that I grow up, become a man, move away from home or all of the above. He after all was a boarding school child of the 1920s socks may have been the entire craze back then.

A man of few words. That’s all I could remember, and I’m fine with that.

Because the conditions of his passing were quite sudden, I really didn’t have a chance to see him alive. And I say really. I was at work; I could have left if I wanted to. But I chose to stay. I chose to go straight home, relax and lightly meditate and say my passing in spirit. Sometimes situations call for different recourse. Watching my grandfather choke on his last blood clogged breath is not what I would like as my parting memory. Ignorance sometimes is bliss.

Did I cry at the casket viewing? No. I doubt I’ll cry tomorrow at the funeral.

Why not? I didn’t see the situation as sad. He’s a man that had a full life. Survived the depression, WW2 and numerous other curve balls life occasionally throws at you. He was 89.

But what makes me sad is watching other people cry and wail at ones coffin. Watching family members reduced to blubbering messes. I feel sad for them being sad, whilst I stand stone faced starting at grey husk of a former human. I stand there with the awkward confusion of trying to make sense of what it is I'm actually feeling. My grandfather is gone – sure I’ll miss who he is, but I know the essence of who he is endures beyond this physical plane – whether that’s in the land of Jesus or not is up for debate.

I have never really understood the process in which we say goodbye to our most dearest. I guess we all deal with grief in our own special way.

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