my remembering list

My grandfather died unexpectedly on Sunday (he had a heart attack while at church).  So it’s been a tough week.

The funeral was yesterday, and I thought that I could come back here and tell you nice things about it.  I thought I would be able to come back and tell you the beautiful things about the past two days of grieving with family, because I have often found that during times of loss and grief the beautiful things shine so brightly.
But the truth is, this one was just tough.  It was tough because so many things about my grandfathers’ passing made us miss my grandmother, who died over a decade ago, all over again.  It was tough because it was so sudden, and I think we are all partially still in shock.  It was tough because it was in a town that was home to none of us, but was home to him.  It was tough because Evelyn pooped through almost every change of clothes we brought for her and decided that ear-piercing screams were fun entertainment for the car ride.
And it was tough just because death and grieving is tough.  There’s no getting around that one.
I’ve lost three grandparents now.  (One of the hardest things to accept is that Evelyn will never know them.)  And I feel like I make a mental list with each of them of the things I know I will always remember because I still have a lot of life to live and I don’t want to forget.  (For instance, I always remember how Meme spoiled us and how she stayed up late reading with the light creeping under her bedroom door.  And I always remember that Bobby made us soft boiled eggs and pita bread and always told my brother and I that we were on the same team when we started to fight.)
So I’ve been making my mental list this week because there are so many things I always want to remember about Paw-paw.
I always remember that when my brother and I stayed with him and my grandmother during a week in the summer and they would take us to Disney World, he would wake us up with the silliest made up songs about going to Disney World that had absolutely no rhyme, reason, or melody.
I always remember how he used to give us money for Christmas, often in some ridiculous fashion…like the year he gave my brother a big jar of coins.
I will always remember how he liked to joke with us, and how he said things so seriously and it made us wonder if he was joking or actually going crazy.  (He was always just joking.)
I will always remember that he had nicknames for everyone in the family.
I will always remember how he would joke about us sending money to him and about trying to figure out whose house had the best “room with a view” for him in his old age.
I will always remember how much he loved Auburn, both the football team and the school (he was very proud of his brick in the engineering building).
I will always remember that he never missed an opportunity to tell us how proud he was of us, and to tell us how proud my grandmother would be of us.
At the funeral yesterday, someone commented on how well liked my grandfather was.  And my mom agreed and said that really she couldn’t remember ever hearing of anyone who didn’t like him.
And that’s the truth.
And that makes this week a tough one.

2 Responses

  1. Abby February 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm |

    Erin, I’m so sorry. Losing a loved one is really hard. But the things you remember about that person can be beautiful, too, and it’s such a good idea to write them down. Maybe someday you can read this list to Evelyn, and she can imagine your grandfather, even if she wasn’t able to know him for very long.

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  2. Kathryn February 9, 2015 at 5:20 am |

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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