A couple of hours ago I received word that my grandpa has died. Yes, the grandpa I wrote about in an earlier post. His friend was bringing him a plate of brownies today where he was found sitting on a couch, head back, cigarette in one hand, lighter in the other.
I haven’t heard what the cause of death was, or any other details. It kinda came out of nowhere, and took me by surprise. My dad did call him shortly after I wrote the post, which was awesome. I think that was part of what he was waiting for.
I didn’t think he’d make it through the winter, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. It really caught me off guard, and its really tough. I mean he was doing so shitty… And I always meant to call him more. And to go see him up there. And I had a letter I was working on to send him, along with pictures of his great-grandson. He was so excited when we had Jasper. I emailed him pictures, so I hope he got to see those at least.
I never understood when people don’t just say someone died. They always try to make it sound better than it is. Like “he passed” or “he’s gone onto a better place.” Nope. He died. Simple as that. And I know death makes people uncomfortable, because they never know what to say. Maybe it’s not that they don’t know what to say, it’s that it isn’t socially acceptable. See when someone dies that you love, it fucking sucks right? So why don’t you say that? I don’t understand the social convention of saying, “I’m sorry.” What does that even mean? How are you sorry? When a friends grandma died a couple of years back, I said, “Shitty dude. That sucks.” I don’t know of a better response than that. It fucking sucks. Saying you’ll keep them in your prayers (and actually doing it) goes a long way as well.
Now I’m not saying I’m not grateful when people say, “I’m sorry” when I tell them my grandpa has died, but I sure wouldn’t hold it against them for being honest and breaking from social protocol.
So yeah, it fucking sucks that my grandpa is dead. He was so awesome. He gave me my first gun. It was grandma’s at one point, a Browning lever-action .22. A beautiful gun. I actually recently sold it to my dad so I could buy my bow, but it was more of a, “Can I sell you my gun for some money and then buy it back from you in the future for the same amount of money?” kind of a deal. Grandpa always had the best stories too (don’t they all?). Him and grandma smoked at least a pack a day, but they always packed their own cigarettes. They’d by Player’s tobacco, and the papers that were pre-rolled with the filters. He had an old cafeteria tray where he’d pack them. I’d sit and watch him from across the table after breakfast as he made his little pile of cigarettes for the day, which he kept in one of those opaque white plastic cigarette containers.
I don’t know what happened to grandma’s cats after she passed away, he was always such a dog person. Taurus was his big airedale that died shortly after he moved up north. I think he went through a couple of others while he was up there, and always named them Taurus to help keep the names straight. He loved his dogs, and he loved his guns.
I’m going to miss him. I already do. I wish Jasper could have met him…