I’ve never been particularly good at handling grief. I suppose no one really is. As a child, I can remember the feelings I experienced when my Grandma passed away. And Bubba, my paternal grandfather. Although to this day, I don’t know that I could articulate those feelings.

As I grew into my teen years and saw friends pass away, I went from “not good” to “absolutely bad” at handling grief. I numbed my emotions with copious amounts of gut-rot liquor. When my friend Jay died, many nights for a long time after would end with a drunken and clumsy fist fight with a friend, poorly masked tears, or both. Through my later teen years and into my twenties, as other friends and family would pass, the cycle repeated itself.

After moving across the country, I remember being torn that I couldn’t be there when my Nana and my Uncle Jon passed. But through it all, one of the few constants in my life, my grandfather was there, a rock of a stability in the often turbulent seas of my adolescence and early adulthood.

He was recently admitted to the hospital. He’s comfortable. But at 94, it may be his time to go. My mom tells me that when he was regaining his speech, his frustration manifested in a clear, “this is bullshit.” Grampy is nothing if not independent. Perhaps occasionally to the point of being stubborn. I wonder where I get it from…

Now, at 32, sober and exposed to the raw emotions that accompany grief, I find myself as I often do in introspection. Grampy has lived 94 full years. He taught me how to fish. He taught me how to whistle with a blade of grass. Although I never managed to quite get that down…

Even at 94, he was independent. While his garden this year paled in comparison to the vegetable gardens I remember from my youth, he still not only took care of himself but found fulfillment in helping things grow. And his orchid flowered this year.

Memories keep surfacing, as I’m sure will be the case for days to come. I remember the picture of him at my parents’ house, leaning against his motorcycle. I remember Joe the Crow and the other injured animals he saved and nursed back to health. I remember spending hot summer days under the shade of the screenhouse he built, at his house on South Longyard.

As I wait at Gate 15 for my flight to see him, I find myself sad yet grateful. Sad that it may be time to say goodbye. But grateful for having him in my life. And grateful that I have a rare opportunity in that I get to say goodbye to someone I love before they go. I don’t know what I will say. But I’m grateful for the opportunity.

12 thoughts on “Grampy

  1. Ryan,
    You were so blessed to have him all these wonderful years. He is a wonderful person. As you go through this tough time, know that you have family and friends who are close by. Never underestimate life, we are only here for a little bit. Always take time for the ones you love, because even though we have our own lives, we have to make time for the ones we love. Your mom is going to love that your home understand that she is going to need all the people that she loves as well. You have become a great young man, and I’m here if you guys need anything. Love Ms. Moran ♥️


    1. Thank you, Ms. Moran. I was blessed indeed and I appreciate the kind words ♥️


  2. Sending hugs to you my friend!


  3. All the love mate, take care of yourself with all this.


  4. We’re praying for him and hes wonderful familia, God Bless hes a good man.


    1. Thank you, Ernie. He’s a good man for sure. Love you!


  5. Ry, I just read this tonite, Sat nite, 10 days since Grampy left all of us . Love that you “just happened” to be on the East Coast when Grampy went into the Hospital. So very thankful that you had a chance to see him that week , more than thankful really : ) Lucy said this morning that besides missing her grandfather for himself, after all, he was our Patriarch, and Ryan you are right, he was one of our rocks . A steady Eddy kind of man for sure , so strong and seasoned in life , having endured quite a lot for sure. Thanks for your transparency, dear nephew o’ mine, and we are all beginning to miss him together . It’s going to take ( me , at least ) a while for the truth of his not being here to sift down , I admit I don’t like it much ! Happy for Dad, but oh so sad for myself and all the rest of his loveys. He was a very remarkable man and I could not be more proud to call him my father . Sending you and Alanna lots of hugs and can’t wait to do so in person ! Love you , Aunt Cherrie


    1. I’m thankful, too. And I’m sure it’ll take time for all of us. He’d probably call us hot house tomatoes for making a big deal of it though 🙂


  6. Sounds like a character and I love the old bike photo 🙂 Sending hugs!


    1. He certainly was a character! Thanks, Gemma 🙂


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