Death changes things.

On July 9th, my grandfather died. I am never going to be able to do a proper post to honor him, though that’s not going to stop me from trying. It wasn’t a long illness. A week of pneumonia and poof, there he goes. In fairness, he was already tired, had been expressing being outliving his god’s plan, and was 95.

Death changes things.

It amazes me, time and again, being Odin’s, being one who interacts with the disincarnate, being one who believes that death is simply a change, being one who has a healthy curiosity about death and dying, being accepting of my mortality, how hard some deaths can hit me.

This one is hitting pretty hard. On the one hand, it’s silly — if nothing else, the man was 95! He hasn’t been in my every day life in over a decade. Also, he was 95!! On the other hand. On the other hand, change is hard, and while I don’t believe he’s “gone” I do acknowledge that things have changed. On top of that . . . he was one of my last personal living heroes, and it’s strange, this change.

My grandfather had a typical Catholic Mass as part of his service. Despite my grandparents and aunt being Catholic, I was brought up (loosely) Protestant, so the only Catholic Masses I’ve ever been to have been funeral Masses. And I have to say — it’s really gotta be luck of the draw, right? There’s so much that is *the same* as what we religious types do, as far as the motions being performed. Bowing to the altar. Offerings of food and liquid. Songs and praise and pomp. My mother and her siblings, and me and my brothers draped the pall over his casket. I felt extremely comfortable in the church, but how could I feel otherwise? This was my Gippy’s church.

The Deacon, funnily enough, specified, when speaking of my grandfather’s religious life and his devotion, spoke of his devotion to “his” god; he never once just said, “God.” I know he wasn’t being conscientious of other non-Christian religious types in the audience, I know it was — at least on his part — happenstance, but it touched me. In a good way, though. I’m not sure I can explain.

So much more I want to say, but I still haven’t the words.

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7 thoughts on “Death changes things.

  1. This reminds me very much of my own Grandfather’s death. He was more like my father than my dad is, and while I wrote his eulogy, I was too upset to deliver it at his funeral. You have my sympathies for your loss.

    • I wanted desperately to write something for his funeral, but in times like these words fail me. It would be much easier to just tear my bleeding heart out and share it with everyone, you know? Anything less simply fails. My grandfather was definitely more like my father than my father was. Gippy was calm, stable, peaceful, nurturing, and amazing. So very amazing. (And teeny-tiny in his old age! So *cute*) I just . . . feh. Thank you. (And you’ve got mine to; it doesn’t really matter the amount of time that has passed, eh?)

  2. ((((hugs)))))!!! It is good that he had such a good deacon, I really think that these are the people that can really make a funeral move the smoothest for those who are grieving and give them the best opportunity to say goodbye. It always helps us to remember that though they are no longer here with us, they are not truly gone. He is with your ancestors now. ((((hugs))))

    • The awesomeness of the deacon is such that, the deacon actually didn’t know my grandfather. By the time he was involved in my grandfather’s church, Gippy had ceased being able to attend and had I-don’t-know-her-status-or-name coming from the church on Sundays so he could receive Communion at home, and then at the nursing home.

      It does help — or it will, eventually — that I don’t think time behaves, once we’re disincarnate, the way it does while we are (weebly-woobly, timey-whimey) and in my practice, the deceased can and do interact with the living. I don’t *expect* him to, not like my father did, because I expect he’ll have been a man who died with few regrets (he was worried about my grandmother; but she’s going to be okay and she’s being taken care of and she’s not alone). My father was big, for a while, on wanting to heal the damage he created within our family. (Not going to happen, unfortunately, and mostly contact with him doesn’t happen much anymore. I’m not interested in keeping a relationship going with my eldest brother, and that was my father’s biggest worry, and I’m really not budging on that. If things change, then maybe, but they haven’t and it’s not my flipping job to put myself out there, sorry) (um) (I guess I’m still ticked off about that *lol*) but I do acknowledge that the dead do not just die and the poof are gone forever.

      Which is part of what bemuses me about my moments of consuming bereavement. It’s the change, I know it’s the change, but gods above and below it’s *hard*.

      But it’ll get less hard as time goes on. Ah, time. (((hugs back)))

  3. Beautiful post, and very helpful insights just above. Your very honest descriptions of the highs and lows of relating to ancestors are wonderful. My own background is no Norman Rockwell painting. I deeply appreciate your very realistic and balanced discussion of what can be an extremely hard subject. Thank you… and also sincere condolences.

    • Thank you, twice over. It’s a very hard subject — emotionally, sure, but also in just being able to squish it into *words*. I appreciate your comment (and the ability to discover your blog, as well!)

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