Recently, I learned that my grandfather has terminal cancer, which has invaded his body in several places. First of all, I was stunned and numbed, by the grave news and the thought of him dying. Basically, he raised me most of my life, so I am very close to him. I couldn’t cry at first, because I thought God would heal him and he wouldn’t die. As, the days go by, I have been a basket case, who is terrified to answer the telephone.
With each new call, I was afraid to hear those words, which I know are coming soon. Then, I realized that he is suffering, so I felt selfish for wanting him to live. Since, nothing has controlled the pain, no matter how much pain medicine the doctor has given him. So, I finally decided to pray for God to heal his whole body, by taking him home to heaven. Through watching his suffering and his depression, I began wondering how much longer I will have with him.
Therefore, I wrote him a letter that came directly from my heart, which was my way to say good-bye. I wanted to let him know that I adore him and that I am proud of him. By writing all my feelings down, I was able to tell him how I truly felt about him. Besides, I knew I couldn’t say it with choking up and bursting into tears. I promised him to honor him and make him proud, as I face this world without him.
Then, I realized that for the first time ever, I would have to make decisions without his wisdom and guidance. Suddenly, I finally broke down and cried for the first time, since I learned about his illness. Everything, seemed come out and before I knew it, I had a five page letter that I gave him a few days ago. Honestly, I will never forget what he said after he read my letter and to be honest; I cried and hugged him.
Now, I don’t feel as if I have left something unsaid or unforgiving in his eyes, before he goes home to God. I don’t feel numb anymore, but I am trying to spend every moment that I can with him. However, it is painful, to watch him writhe in pain. It’s even harder to watch him cry, when I haven’t seen him cry more the three times in my entire life. Saying goodbye is not the easiest thing to do, but it has helped to ease my fears of life without my Grandpa.
Thankfully, this has drawn our family closer and made us learn to cherish, each day we have left to be together. Hopefully, we can spend time making memories and without him suffering in pain. Every day, I will let him know how much I care, until that day finally comes. Then, I will know that it’s my turn to pick up his torch and keep it going. Hence, I shall always remember him as the greatest man I ever had the privilege to know and love.
©2007, Crystal S. Kauffman
Previously published in May of 2007 at Helium.com (Helium.com has been closed)