03 March, 2011

Bittersweet Goodbye

Grandpa died yesterday.

He passed peacefully while my mother was with him.

I am having a really hard time processing this loss. I am not sure why this grief is so great for me. I am happy for him to be relieved of his mortal shell, which had become overrun with pain and discomfort in the past several years. I am even happier that he will be able to join my Grandma after these eight years apart. And I am happiest that I was privileged enough to know the man and to spend time with him before he departed.

Perhaps I am feeling the emotional pain more acutely now because my body, mind and spirit have been detoxifying so fully lately? Perhaps it is the first time, as an adult, that I have really been able to be present with a loved one just before their passing? Perhaps it's the first time I've really allowed myself to feel grief in its full form? Perhaps, since this is my last grandparent to depart, I am feeling a greater disconnect with my sense of Home and Family in the greater sense of the words? Perhaps it's a bit of all of these? I don't know. I just know that I feel very alone right now. I feel very sad, down to the core of my being.

The most difficult for me to understand is that the thought of my grandpa's house, and all of the familiar belongings in it, not being there anymore seems to really up the intensity of these feelings. The very thought of not being able to visit there, as I have for my whole life, shakes me at my center. And I just don't understand why. The only thing I can figure is that losing that house, which has been an enduring familial home to me since birth, is like losing the last vestige of everything I have ever identified with Home.

If you are wondering, I do get the irony of mourning a house and its belongings during a period in which I am electively discarding my own house and belongings. I suppose this is just one more step on this journey I am taking towards personal freedom. One more brick in my own wall of self-awareness. And maybe as I begin to ascend a little further up the road, these feelings will make more sense to me. Then again, I suppose it's not for feelings to be logical or rational. Maybe I just need to feel this deeply to be reminded that I can.

Goodbye, Grandpa. You were an amazing human being, and I am honoured to have basked in the glow of your brilliance.


  1. love and and strength and growth, melanie.

  2. Please accept my condolences Melanie. I think I understand about the house and what it represented. Last year when my Grandma died, this is what Is wrote: http://jmahorney.blogspot.com/2009/01/sim-wiest-1917-2009.html