I still dream about you, and in my dreams you are dining with us and you are laughing and you are singing with your deep booming voice and you are alive. And you are so alive.

Waking up stings like cold water. You have been gone for almost 6 years now; your face is fading but your voice will never die. Oh my grandfather how I miss you. I took you for granted and now you are gone and I don't know what to do to fill that empty spot in my heart. I have tried filling it with books and knowledge and songs, and love, but it just won't fill up. I am emptier than ever and I never knew grief could cut through a person so simply and so cruelly.

Did you see my tears that day in the hospital? That last day I saw you alive. I tried so hard to keep them from you. I turned away, I walked to the window, I shut them up behind my eyelids. But they came all the same and I think that's because I saw how very small you had become, I could have cradled you like a child in my arms and I would have given anything to be able to do so, because I remember you doing the same for me when I was small and scared.

And I remember showing you my daughter that day and I was so happy that you were there to see her but I was so sad to know that you would never hear her tell you she loved you and you would never see her laughter. She sings all day sometimes, did you know that? This is your gift to her, I think. I see in her your love of life and laughter.

I also remember the not so nice things, grandfather. I am not so naive as to romanticize the life you lead... the things that hurt us all, the months of absence, so many other things pile up. I push them away because I want you to be a beacon, not a shade.

Look here, I have a son now. Did you know that when he was born, he looked just like you? So much so that everyone saw it immediately and remarked and we didn't know what to do with that. It was like you had blanketed him up into yourself to protect him until it was time for him to be born. Did you know I almost died that day, grandfather? And that something guided me safely back. I think it was you.

I threw a tiger lily down to chase the dirt that had fallen into your grave onto your casket. I remember kneeling down in front of the hole and wanting to jump in and claw at the box that was hiding your soulcage and beg you to wake up, please wake up, please? I remember my husband pulling me up and cutting my closure short because everyone had left and we had to go now.

I don't resent the fact that they buried you on my birthday. You had no say in this, I know this, I know. What can I say? Now I have no possible way of forgetting. Ever.

I have so many things to say to you and I have so many things to share and I can't. And sure I could call out into the ether and I could whisper prayers to things unseen to carry my words from my heart to you, but what's the use? Some things are best left alone.

I still think of you, grandfather. I still love you, grandfather. I still need you, grandfather. And you'll never know.