Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The One Where Everybody Died

Last week was rough.

On Saturday, a relative of SOB's died from complications of a brain aneurysm. He was young, and it was sudden. Sam had just golfed in his first family golf tournament, and we were out celebrating with all of the men in my family when I got the call from SOB's sister. We quickly head home, but decided to wait and tell the kids later, since we had my big family reunion the next day and didn't want to dampen their moods.

The next afternoon we headed to the picnic, and when we got home we explained to the older kids what had happened. They were upset, but since they didn't know the deceased too well (he lived on the west coast, so we only saw him once or twice a year) they didn't take it too badly.

Around 9pm that night, the phone rang.

My grandfather, who has been on hospice care since my grandmother passed away in September of 2012, died during the evening. He had been doing pretty well for a while, but took a turn for the worse early last week. All of his sons were in town for the family reunion, so he got a chance to see them all, and he even managed to hang on until after the family picnic was over. We were all impressed.

When the kids woke up on Monday and I had to tell them that Grandpap D. died, only 12 hours after telling them about SOB's relative, it didn't go over so well. Sam was particularly upset, and Maggie just kept asking who was going to die next. We took the kids to the funeral home for the viewing on Tuesday, and they got to say their goodbyes. For the past 20 years he's been nearly deaf, so the kids always shouted when they spoke to him. It took a lot of reminders for them to keep from shouting at his body in the casket. Lucy, of course, had to touch him and tell everyone how cold he was. Sam cried a lot.

His history has some dark spots, as most do, but he was still my grandfather, my childrens' great-grandfather. It seemed that his kindness increased with each new generation of children. 

On my last birthday, he gave me a card and he drew a picture of himself on the front. When I was little he used to take out his partial dentures out to entertain me, and he drew his smile with missing teeth. I put it with the last card I got from my grandma. 

So far, this week has been better. Nobody has died. Let's hope it stays that way. 

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