It's hard to fully grasp the concept of death
. Someday you will die. Someday you will be forgotten
. Someday isn't very far away.
I've known quite a few kids
who've died, quite a few adults, and know many who seem to be heading towards death by the end of this year. It's not a comforting thought that at any moment you could be killed.
wasn't a good month for me. Two close people in my life died. One of them was my grandfather
, who had practically raised me. I never knew my father growing up
, and so my grandpa pretty much took the role of father figure - I called him papa
He was a tough old irish
guy who grew up in Newark, New Jersey
. He had a quick temper (once he yelled at me for an hour and a half because he thought I ate his chocolate
malt balls when they were really behind the cereal in the cupboard), was incredibly smart
(attempted to teach me morse code
and how to assemble radios when I was 9), and was never short of a good story.
For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to think of something to write about him - a eulogy
of sorts to present at his memorial
. He said he didn't want a funeral
, but my mother decided to give him an irish memorial instead. The fact of the matter is, I don't know how to give his life any justice in words, or convey my feelings for him. I have so many memories of him, but I keep pushing them away for fear of letting my gaurd down and getting too emotional
. I suppose I shouldn't be worrying about being emotional when something like this happens, but I've been trying to be strong
for my family
He was very smart, like I said before. I think he's the one that got me so interested in books and writing. He introduced me to Hunter Thomson
's writing (Generation of Swine
was the first book he showed me), which I believed, and still believe, to be brilliant.
I've been trying to get out to places in nature
, think about him, and try to put into words my thoughts and feelings. My grandfather loved nature. I sat for hours on the rocky cliff
s overlooking the ocean
'til the sun went down and the tide
was rising, and I was starting to feel the spray of the ocean waves
hitting my feet. I drove through a windy road in the forest
and sat under a tree with a notebook writing until the mosquito
's started to come out.
As I'm writing, I'm starting to think - maybe you don't have to be forgotten. I think that death does not phase me, it's the sheer thought of my entire life ending in nothing
as I am forgotten throughout the years that follow - people pushing my life, personality
and everything about me into a far corner of their mind, until they die and I die with them. Maybe the best thing you can do for a person when they die is think about them often and share stories about them with other people - maybe that's the best way to give someone's life the justice that it deserves.
I've resolved to think often of him, and maybe write of what I will do to remember him, recollect memories
, and the such in his Eulogy. I guess that's what you're supposed to do, though - isn't it?
My grandfather was cremated with his english breakfast tea
that he loved and drank every day. When my family and I were cleaning out his house, we found boxes and boxes, cupboards full, plastic bags entirely full.... with tea. I don't think I've ever seen so much tea in my entire life. Any kind of tea
you could possibly think of, he had ten boxes! I think it's things like that that make our personality, and are even worth remembering later on. I'll never forget all the tea, which is why every day I start up with a hot cup of english breakfast tea. I'll never forget.