Upon the Loss of My Last Grandparent

Grandpa on Dad's side
  1. Maybe 10 years ago you and grandma took the family to the cemetery to show us where your bodies will decay and tell us "We're ready to go whenever the Lord wants to take us."
  2. First you saw your son die of cancer. Then one day you found your wife dead too.
    I've never been so devastated as when your body shook with sorrow before her coffin.
  3. You've not been the same since the stroke a year and a half ago and you'd been in hospice for a week, so it wasn't a surprise.
    In some ways it's a blessing so that your son who became your full-time caregiver can have a 'normal' life again.
  4. We've never been close. You had 8 children, and I was your 13th grandchild. Your first great-grandchild came just one year later.
    I understand that you couldn't be bothered with me. There were just too many of us.
  5. But I don't feel sad. I haven't cried. I don't feel anything except a vague feeling that I'm supposed to be upset.
  6. And when I realize this, I feel guilty. Guilty that I'm not upset. Guilty that I didn't make much effort to get to know you. Guilty that as a child I resented having to sit quietly in the evening while you read devotions.
  7. But I do have memories of you that I cherish, that I've been replaying during calm moments sice the news.
  8. I remember the way you kissed me on the cheek saying goodbye.
  9. I remember the story you told about how you didn't go to your sister's wedding reception because there would be dancing and someone threatened to have you unordained if you went.
  10. I remember after grandma's funeral when I said, 'I love you, grandpa.' And you hugged me and said, 'I love you too.' Then glanced around at your family and added, 'All of you.'