Sunday was the twentieth “anniversary” since Granddaddy died. Twenty years. It’s almost twice as long as the time I spent with him.
But I still miss him.
I always will.
He was the better grandfather even before the emotional abuse (and before I started coming to terms with the other abuses) from Dadada. When we didn’t live with Dadada, Granddaddy was still my favorite. He was a genuinely good person and I think the world is a better place because of his goodness.12
So, of course, I will always miss him.
And I will dread the week between his death and birthday for a long time to come. I worry about Nana because she gets so depressed this week every year. I worry about Aunt Barbara because she hasn’t really been herself3 since he died. I worry about Eric because, even though we never talked about it, he must still miss him.4 And I worry about my mom because she was so close with him and she was there when he died. I think she focused so much on getting the rest of us through his death that she never gave herself the opportunity to grieve properly. I worry because I never know how sad I will feel this week.
But part of life means living even when you’re sad or remembering those you’ve lost, so that’s what I will do.
He was a good enough person for a funeral home full of people to brave the threat of an ice storm for his visitation and to fill the chapel for a standing room only funeral. This isn’t just hero-worship. This is me recognizing that he made an indelible mark on the lives of others with his friendship. ↩
Dadada, on the other hand, was jealous we were going to Guntersville for Granddaddy’s funeral. He was in the hospital with his congestive heart failure, diabetes, & emphysema—and sneaking cigarettes while he was there. ↩
Or she hasn’t been who she was before his death. ↩
He had longer with him. ↩