20-Something · change · life

A Story of My Journey to Grief

“This stuff inside me is working fast.”

Hearing my Papa say those words made my insides feel as if they had just been sucked into a black hole in the far reaches of space – so far away that I am still on the quest to get them back.

The last few weeks have been filled with me traveling back and forth between my hometown.  The travel was necessary to spend time with my grandfather and to keep up with work.  School was not even on my radar.

My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer the week before Midterms.  He felt with the news far better than anyone else – and that was just another reminder of how strong my Papa was.

He was a strong, gentle, kind man.  By far, Papa was my favorite person in the whole world.  He never had a bad word for anyone or about anything.  Anger came very slowly to him – like those little hamsters on their wheels just spinning and getting nowhere… I actually do not believe he could get angry.

I mostly remember, though, how proud he was of all of us grandkids.

The Sunday before he passed away, my Papa did not know who I was.  There was an instance that I was reminded of a time, a few weeks previous, when the family was together and I finally got back from school.  Papa walked up to me and gave me a hug, “Ah, there’s the one.”

I guess a part of me is still angry.  This man who had lived through so much.  This man who had recovered from so many illnesses and health problems, was wiped out by lymphoma.  Maybe I was expecting something more visible.

I love my Papa and will continue to miss him for many years to come.


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