I never knew death this close. Usually, when I hear someone has passed in my family, it’s typically a relative I’ve never met or haven’t seen in years. This death, however, was too close to home.
It’s been exactly a month since you passed away. You were an amazing grandfather: tall, muscular, with a full mustache and a dozen buttoned-down shirts and sweaters with several dazzling and eye-catching patterns. You knew how to dress, how to dance, how to live, and most importantly, how to love.
As I watched you peacefully leave the physical world and join our Heavenly Father, a hole grew inside of my chest that I’m sure might never be filled. I stood over you, pushed your hair back, kissed you on the forehead, and said “I love you.”
I think about you often, Pop-Pop. I dream about the days when you used to play hide and seek with my cousin and I. I remember the nights when we would watch Jeopardy! together and shout incorrect answers at the television. Although I didn’t get to spend much time with you as I did when I was younger, your passing weighs so heavily on me. I felt guilty for not being around as often, for not seeing you as often, and for not calling to check up on you as often.
I begged and pleaded to God not to take you away from us, but you belonged in a better, happier, and freer place.
I am grateful I had you for as long as I did, though. I consider myself lucky, blessed even, to have a grandfather as iconic as you were. As a young girl, I watched you take care of our small family. You were the glue that held us together through the ups and the downs.
I miss you severely. But I will carry you inside of my heart forever. I will look to you for strength when I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet.
I will see your face in my favorite memories, I will remember your voice and laugh when retelling funny moments, and I will feel your presence when surrounded by our family.
I know my tears will never cease and my hole will never be filled, and that’s okay. But I know I can always find you in the very special moments, thoughts, dreams, smiles and “I love you’s.”