I can’t believe it’s been 9 days since my grandfather died, it seems like yesterday I was wheeling him around the hospital with my mom to give him some fresh air then he took a sudden bad turn and passed away several days later.
He fought so hard, the doctors didn’t think he’d survive the weekend before he died and he did, he lived 3 days longer than they thought. He was in pain, doped up on morphine, he couldn’t talk, eat or drink and they only way he’d communicate was to wiggle his eyebrows, but even in the end, he didn’t do that.
We’d spend 8-9 hours a day sitting in his hospital room, reading newspapers, watching TV and being near him so he wasn’t alone, even though he couldn’t communicate, he was listening to us, his belly rumbiling from not eating which probably didn’t help that we all ate lunch in his room as we didn’t want to leave him alone for long.
The afternoon he died, I was in my apartment. I was due to go to the hospital later that afternoon but my dad called earlier saying that my brother will pick me up at the train station instead earlier. When I got to the hospital around 3:30, my dad told me that my grandfather passed away an hour earlier but didn’t want to tell me over the phone. Even though I was expecting that he’d die sometime soon, I was still really shocked and had to get some water and sit down before going into his hospital room where my mom and aunts were.
My dad told my aunts and mom that I wanted to see him alone, I broke down into my dad’s arms before going in, so much so that I couldn’t really breathe and had to take a few minutes before I could go and see him. Finally, I walked into his room with my dad and saw my grandfather lying there. He looked so peaceful, just like he was sleeping. I touched his hand, stared at him, kissed his head and told him I loved him. I just regret not telling him that when he was still alive, I just wish he knew how much he meant to me.
His funeral was on Wednesday, a week after he died. The day before, dad & I went to see his body in the funeral home. They laid out his coffin with his favourite flower (Bird of Paradise), his favourite song (Fool on the hill by Shirley Bassey) and a photo of his wedding day to my grandmother who passed away 10 years ago. Dressed in his suit, he looked as peaceful as I last saw him. I was a little scared to see him, but it was something I had to do, even though dad didn’t want me to see him at first. My mom really didn’t want to go see him, but in the end she did along with the both of us.
On the day of his funeral a few days ago, all the family members came to his house as well as his neighbours for over 23 years. When the funeral hearse arrived with his coffin and the funeral car which my mom, her sisters and my grandfather’s surviving sister sat in, we all got in the rest of the cars and made our way in a convoy to the Crematorium. When the family entered the Crematorium, a song he requested ‘Highland Cathedral’ played until everyone was sat. The Church Minister talked, read a poem my grandfather liked, we sang a hymn, we prayed and then my grandfather’s favourite song ‘Fool on the Hill’ by Shirley Bassey played out as the family walked out the Crematorium.
Yesterday, my mom, dad and I went to the Crematorium again where we met my aunts and their husbands. We were there to helop scatter my grandfather’s ashes in the Garden of Rememberance in the grounds of the Crematorium. My mom picked a nice spot where there was a tree which resembled a tree in his own garden, next to a river. My mom, aunts, dad & I took turns to scatter his ashes, but my 2 uncle’s didn’t want to do it. It was pretty sad but at least he is no longer in pain and hopefully he’s with my grandmother and his sister now.
I’m going to miss talking to his every day on the phone, going to his house on the weekend, watching old cowboy movies with him, hearing old stories (even though I heard them 10000 times before) and I’ll miss seeing him laugh and smile.
I miss him like crazy 🙁
The last picture I took of him, a week before he passed away