I think the worst thing about life is knowing that it has to end. Or praying that it finally will.
I’ve been watching my Grandpa Ed deteriorate since I can remember. In fact, my dad never even thought his father would get to know his granddaughters; I’ve gotten seventeen years with him. But now, every ailment he’s ever been struck with is coming together to take him down. And they’re doing an impeccable job.
My Grampie is absolutely the most important and influential person in my life. He immigrated to America from Latvia when he was nineteen in order to escape the Nazis. He had nothing with him but the clothes on his back and a few old photographs. He had to give himself food poisoning in order to stay in a hospital long enough to miss his boat and stay in America. He built himself an entire business empire in the South.
He is the ultimate American dream.
And for the past week, I have I have been relentlessly praying for his death.
I pray for his death, and then I pray for forgiveness for praying for my ninety-four year Grampie to die. But right now, I truly think death is the only thing that will bring him peace. He hates living this life; returning to the hospital every few months or so, constantly feeling pain radiate throughout his entire body. If death is the only thing that will finally put him out of his misery, then death is what I will pray for.
For a long time, I didn’t think I would cry when my Grampie died. I thought I had mentally prepared myself for his death and accepted the fact that it was what’s best for him. But hearing the words, “He won’t be conscious again” has a way of tearing down any sort of emotional walls I may have built for myself.
Death is a tricky thing, whether it comes by surprise or if you’ve been watching it slowly approach for seventeen years. But ultimately, I think it’s good. You appreciate more when someone dies; your love grows more indefinite. Life begins to taste just a little sweeter and even though most of your questions are left unanswered, there’s still a sense of assurance. You’ll be ok.
So Grampie, I want you to know I love you. I enjoyed talking on the phone with you even if you weren’t able to respond. I am so proud to call you my Grandpa. I wish we could have had more time together, but the time we did have was perfect. Thanks for taking me crabbing and teaching me how to sail.
Rest in peace.