Some days it’s really easy, and it gets easier the further away it gets. But some days aren’t. Some days you just feel like collapsing. You feel as if you’re not remembering them enough, or feel like you should’ve done something different when you were there, or just plain ol’ miss them.
You’ll always be able to see him so clearly in your memory as he leans back in his chair. His legs are outstretched with his hands folded across his stomach as he says, “Oh, that’s just fine.” Or any other memory from any day where he sits there completely shaking with laughter as he tries to tell a story. After awhile you’re laughing hysterically right along with him, but not actually with him. It’s more like you’re laughing at him, because he hasn’t even told the story yet.
I can see him in my dad, and sometimes even hear him. They sit the exact same way, and sometimes even stair off into space the same way. Their sense of humor is similar, though I prefer his jokes to Dad’s… I’m kidding, Dad. They’re similar in the way that people enjoy hearing them speak. It’s like everyone tries to soak up everything they say.
I can see him in the way his kids love. He taught each of them to love, because he was shown love first. They love so unconditionally and always hoping for the best. He taught them so much, and in turn, they passed on what he taught them to their kids.
Everyone facing Dad and the casket and I’m looking around at their faces. Some try to hear, others trying to hold themselves together. The first time for me to ever see my uncle cry. Even going to the church afterwards and seeing so many people whose lives he touched. All of the emotions just laid before everyone.
Driving away was the hardest. It was the first time for me to be the one to drive us away from so many memories. One of my first experiences with snow, a water gun fight in the side yard, Dad and Trev playing Wiffle Ball, or Mer teaching me how to hula hoop. All the times of walking around the backyard watching the sunsets and taking so many picture of the corn field and mountains surrounding the valley. It was difficult knowing there was a high possibility I might not ever see that place again.
There’s nothing you can really do to prepare yourself, because even when you tell someone who asks how you’re doing before he even passes, it still sucks. You thought it would be easier because the grieving process had already started, but it doesn’t matter when it starts. They’re still not here to celebrate anything anymore. They’re still not here to make people laugh anymore. They’re still not here to speak life into anyone anymore. But yeah, with time things do get better. Then there are days where you just collapse and have to take time and remember all of the memories you have of that person.
I love you, Grandpa.