Sitting down with my parents, early evening, Monday, after my first day of supply work experience, to have a skype chat. Both my parents are home at 3:30 in the afternoon to have a chat with me?... The news, “Grandpa Bob has passed away”… It doesn’t sink in. Or maybe it does. I’m just numb. For some reason, the first feeling, the first response, is acceptance… “okay…” I say slowly, softly and bring my hands to my face, to feel my cheeks. I apply pressure to the sides of my face… Thinking some more about how this news makes me feel. My parents peer at me through the computer screen with concerned and supportive eyes. I repeat “oh…no… that’s so sad” a few times over as I think… “how do I feel right now?… Grandpa has passed… Grandpa has passed?.. Grandpa has passed… Grandpa.”… Our final visit in August with Grandpa flickers in and out of my head. My family, parents and siblings and step Grandma Pat, fit into spaces in his small, cozy room in Empire Living, North Bay… His gentle, deeply sincere and loving tone with which he says “Iiii love ya.”, paired with his gruff, honest and dry as desert old man character as he offers a witty comment that takes us all a few moments to catch, process and react with laugher. So juxtaposed but comfortingly, completely Grandpa… Refocusing in on my parents through the computer screen, there is a sinking feeling in my chest that begins to come in… I feel so removed through the screen. So distant. Still processing, my brain taking in and analysing the news, almost over logical. There isn’t much surprise inside of me but I feel the need to have an emotional release. The tears need to come. I just feel so out of it, yet so accepting… More analysing…“What do I need? What does this mean?... I wont see Grandpa again. He is gone.. His mind is blank, his body has stopped…” My heart sinks further as I start to contemplate this and as I think about the physical distance between myself and my parents and how much I want their tangible warmth and affection. I realized more and more what was missing and what made this moment so strangely numb for me… I want to sense their feelings, share and experience our feelings of loss together. I wanted to think about and be sad about Grandpa with them. The skype video screen is fuzzy and delayed. They are so close yet SO far away. Cold and lonely. I want their presence. Tears.
I am glad to say that there will be a reception held in celebration of my Grandpa’s life at a later date, when other family members living far away and myself are able to come together. I will have a chance to think about and be sad about Grandpa with my family in time.
In the meantime, I want to say Buenos Dias to my very special Grandfather, Lyman Robert Lein, who has given me his gift of green thumb, a piece of him in me I cherish so much.
I choose to wish him “Good day” in Spanish, as there is a beauty in the Latin American culture and language that touched me deeply during my travels- so loving and expressive, bright and warm.Buenos Dias Grandpa Boobie.