My grandfather is dying. He's been sick for years, and by years I mean "since the Reagan administration." However, this time we all know. We just don't know when. Within two weeks, we think.

We were in HH last week/this weekend, and there he was, my grandfather, who is 6'6" and the largest man in the world, somehow fitting into a twin-sized hospital bed and looking so very small. My mom took care of my grandmother and talked with him about what would happen After - After being that time when everything changes but we can't actually say how out loud, because that's like admitting it's going to happen, and no one can handle it yet. He'll be cremated. We'll send him to sea somewhere in the West Indies. My grandmother will be destroyed.

I've agreed to write the obituaries for the papers, and the eulogy. Somehow I got the role of the Family Writer, which makes me both proud and incredibly depressed. Why couldn't I have been the Family Cook, or the Family Birdhouse Builder? Anything with less emotional asskicking, as I said to a friend earlier.

I'm 27 years old and I've never been to a funeral. I have all my grandparents. I don't know how to watch someone die.


  1. I am so sorry.

  2. a long lost friend once suggested reading "On Death" from the Prophet.

    Having lost all my grandparents except one, and my own father as I held his hand, there is nothing I can tell you to prepare you other than you'll get through it. It will be hard, there will be tears and the love of family for support. More importantly, there will be the memories of your grandfather that you cherish and no one can take away. Cherish those as well as the remaining time you have with him.

    Sorry I can't be there for you in person. But my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  3. designguy said it much better than i will but...

    it is hard, but you and your family will get through it (even though sometimes that seems unbelievable). my grandmother died in a similar drawn-out way (she had alzheimers), and at the end it was bizarrely a bit of a relief, only because you knew that she wasn't suffering anymore. that is only a small consolation when you see how devastated your parents are though.

    also, my younger brother died suddenly in november, and i seriously did not see how life could possibly go on for anyone in the family after that. yes, the wake/funeral and time immediately following the death is excruciating, but with time (and when needed, some help - i went to a bereavement counselor for a while, which at first was strange, but in the end was very helpful), even that has become manageable, much to my surprise.

    anyhow, i will be thinking of you and your family.