We knew my grandfather was dying. We were waiting. And that meant that every time my phone rang and I saw my mother’s name I girded myself for the worst news.
It’s been a few weeks now, but still, every time I see my mother’s name pop up I anticipate bad news. I imagine her telling me again that he’s died. Even though it’s already happened. He’s gone. There’s nothing more to wait for.
It’s almost as though I can convince myself that he’s still here for us, and every now and again I get a rude awakening. Another reminder that I’ve now lost the majority of people who made me into the person that I am. They built the foundation of me. My Tutu, my Gramps and my Dad.
Perhaps that is the reaction that I have when I see my mother’s name – I’m not ready for bad news. I’m not ready to lose her too. I’m not ready for my daughter to lose her.
I am also still waiting for news of my own health, and have successfully convinced myself that it’s both nothing or the very worst thing.
I want desperately to see all the growing up my kid does. I want to meet her as a grown up and be filled with more pride and respect and joy that I can imagine. I want to burst for her.
My Gramps was at my wedding, he came to my university graduation, he met my daughter. Even my dad got to see me get through all the bad that I had to get through and watched me come out the other side. Watched me build a career and become a mother. My Tutu didn’t get that. She didn’t get to beam at her great-granddaughter or take her clothes shopping – which would have likely been her favourite thing she had ever done.
I am unprepared for the next losses.
I was unprepared for this one, as much as I tried to steady myself. As thankful as I am for every ounce of his 97 years, the 37 I got to spend with him, the 8 my daughter will be able to remember, I still want him back. I want my Dad back. I want my Tutu back. I want to know that they know that I am someone strong. That I have this magnificent daughter.
I can only imagine that Gramps had an understanding of how deeply we lovely him. I think that I know that he did. I wish I had hugged him when he was still huggable. I wish I had written more letters.