Dealing with death — what to do when grandpa dies
Last night night I had just stopped working at about 7 p.m. when the phone gave this ominous ring.
I had just grabbed a plate of food to eat so I was in no hurry to answer it and talk on the phone.
So I let the voicemail pick it up and it was my aunt Polly calling. She started in on the voicemail saying “hey I need to talk to you your grandpa had a heart attack and he didn’t make it. Call me back at these numbers…”
I was pretty stunned because my grandpa had gotten out of the hospital about two to three months ago and seemed to be doing it very well.
Obviously, my belief about his good condition was mistaken.
After taking a few moments to gather myself and my composure I went ahead and dialed back to talk to my aunt Polly.
She proceeded to tell me the story about the last week of his life and how the events leading up to his death unfolded without me even asking. Thinking about it today it’s amazing because I had called her just to talk a little bit and get the details about the funeral.
I realized immediately the difference between me being a bottom-line kind of guy, and her a typical woman who likes to have the background and the details of the story.
She told me about how grandpa had been having a tough time the last seven days. He’s been in the nursing home since getting out of the hospital.
I know he wasn’t very fond of the nursing home but it’s what he needed at that stage of his life. His birthday was coming up in the first week of November and he was about to be 85. We had a big surprise celebration planned but sadly he didn’t make it.
She also told me how he was in quite a bit of pain and had shooting pains in his arm and couldn’t get a hold of the nurse to come help him. So I felt bad about that because my grandpa is a World War II veteran and certainly deserved better care and to be eased out of this life in as painless a way as possible.
I was reflecting back today attempting to fight back the sadness and remember the good times the way I want to remember my grandpa going forward in the future and pulling the valuable lessons he taught me out of the recesses of my memory.
My grandpa was always very vivacious even into his 80s noticing the hot ladies around. He was always very talkative and friendly and just had that way about him.
He was quite sad when his wife died back on Christmas eve of 1999. I know this had an effect on him over the last nine years and even though the pain lessened for him he still remembered her often and felt that sadness.
- He always lived life for today and that’s one of the things I’m going to take away that he taught me.
- Though he spent all his money he believed in having fun which is something I need to remember to be able to spend some and save some
- he always encouraged me to use the many God-given talents I’ve been blessed with
I’ll always remember these main lessons as well as the other lessons he taught me. One of the biggest of those “other lessons” was family being the most important and love and help your family whenever possible.
He was a shining example because even though some of his kids might be considered less than successful (or even deadbeats), he was always quick to lend a helping hand either financially or otherwise.
Dealing with death — what to do when grandpa dies…
He loved going out to eat and was always the one to treat.
I’ll remember his generosity with his money and his time and the way he cared about his family.
My final thought to you is cherish the time you have with your family. Life is way too short and the one regret I’ll have is that I hadn’t gone to visit my grandpa since he had been out of the hospital.
When was the last time you told your special family members you love them? When was the last time you visited with them either by phone or in person?