And your point is…?

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Grandpa with his youngest great-grandchild

My grandpa died on Friday. He was 95 years old and quite a fella. You can read about him here: http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2013/news/renowned-journalism-training-chief-dies-aged-95/

He’d been in a Kit-Kat coma for a few months prior to his death. That is to say, his sole focus was Kit-Kats and the consumption thereof. You’d go into the care home to visit him and he’d scan you from top to toe with his eyes, trying to work out where you’d hidden the little rectangle of joy.

My sister and I saw him the day before he died, which also happened to be his birthday. He had emerged from the Kit-Kat coma and moved into another place, far beyond us, somewhere out of the window.

“I’m waiting for my grand-daughters,” was the single coherent sentence he managed to utter.

“We’re here, Grandpa.”

His gaze shifted between my sister and me, then he said: “Help me.”

“What do you want help with, love?”

“…I don’t know.”

Seeing this erstwhile cigar-chewing, Pusser’s Rum-supping titan reduced to the husk which now sat before us was more distressing than hearing the news less than 24 hours later that he had died. It was, to quote a platitude, ‘a blessing’.

But in the days that have followed, I have wondered about my reaction to the demise of my much-beloved Grandpa. For I feel a kind of numbness when I think about his passing. As if my grief quota has been reached and I am no longer able to process any more sadness.

Yes, I cried. But they were tears for my Dad, for an era, lost. And for the fact that I believe he had waited for my sister and me in order to permit himself to be free.

One of the old boy’s stock phrases was; “And the point is…” followed by a statement which didn’t have a point. Strangely though, with his death I can almost feel my ‘And Your Point Is?’ carapace growing another layer.

I always envied Grandpa his toughness. Perhaps in way this is his bequest to me.

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12 thoughts on “And your point is…?

  1. Funny thing, grief – it doesn’t behave the way you would expect. I remember when my mom died after ‘a long struggle’ and I felt numb at her actual passing. The fact was she had left us weeks before in every way but the physical, so the separation happened by degrees. I was also expecting my first child at the time and think I was protected in some way from the loss. But it came in waves, still does… Your grandad sounds like he was quite the fella. My heart goes out to you after so much loss. Hugs xx

    • Thanks to you for that message of support. Interested in your reflection on manifestations of grief relative to the way in which a person has died. I guess I too was able to adjust by degrees to the inevitable death of Grandpa. He’d not been good for a long time. Sudden death feels so different – coupled with untimely death, it’s impossible to reconcile. Bisous. (Not bisons, as my autocorrect would have it!) xx

      Sent from my iPad

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  2. Your grandpa sounded like quite a character. I don’t think you’ve reached your grief quotient. When someone who has had a full life and reached a ripe old age dies it’s very sad but it’s not a tragedy. Losing Mark too young and in the prime of life is tragic and devastating, for your grandpa you can see it was his time. You’ll mourn him, but in a different way. Sending you strength for the funeral and hugs & love generally xxx

    • That’s a lovely message. It is sad but not a tragedy. And this is how I know you are on the same dismay-dar Fi – you instinctively knew that the funeral is going to be a huge ordeal. Dreading it, for reasons you understand. Hugs to you. X

      Sent from my iPad

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  3. I’m not big on Kit kats but I’ve had my share (and maybe a lot of someone else’s) of rum. A toast to your grandfather then in memory of a man that seemed to have a discerning taste in drink. Sorry for the good days gone. I hope the memories stay clear and dear.

  4. thank you for leaving the link to be able to read about your wonderful grandpa. I also read the comments – they must be so heart warming to you and your family. I bet with time you will discover even more dimensions of the legacy he left you. I wish you that extra layer on your carapace to help you bear the ordeal of his funeral – wear your fondest memories of him like a shield when the air is rife with all manner of platitudes.

    much love and light,

    Karen xoxo

    • Thanks for taking the time to read about him Karen. It’s been an odd week, even odder saying goodbye yesterday. The carapace lasted only so long, but it’s hard to remain impervious to the sadness. Love your last line there. You always hit the nail on the head! X

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