All posts tagged: Grandpa

Swallowing Sadness

When I was a kid, I couldn’t swallow tablets. Not only could I not swallow them, I had an absolute, throat-constricting fear of them. So, the summer when I developed mumps was a particularly painful summer for both me and my family. My nightly treatment was a war zone: there was me, a stubborn five-year-old with swollen cheeks, distraught with fear at the idea of consuming something I could not chew; my worried mother begging me to try again as I spat out the pill for the fifth time; my frustrated father commanding she hold my nose and force it down. And then there was my gentle Grandpa who coaxed me from the chaos and took me to the kitchen. He patiently diced the miniscule tablet into microscopic pieces, and replaced my water glass with an apple raspberry juicebox. Then he sat and stroked my back as I shook and sobbed and swallowed until the tablet was gone. I’m not entirely sure if that memory is mine, or whether it was planted into my mind …

On Mourning

In the past two days, the topic of death has come up too many times for comfort. My mind is no stranger to thinking of death, in fact, it is quite a preoccupation of mine. I don’t mean that in a suicidal, or homicidal way, far from it; I am just overwhelmingly afraid of it. So naturally, it’s all I can think about sometimes. Today marks 100 days since my Grandfather passed away, and today we went to visit him. My Grandmother placed her handbag on the floor and sat in front of his stone for half an hour, weeping. And slowly, almost quietly, she lay down like I imagine she did fifty years ago, next to him on her side, one arm resting on him. There she stayed for an hour, until it started to rain. Up until today, I never really thought much dealing with death. Sure, I thought about being dead, and I thought about dying. But I never really thought about how people mourn death because, except my Grandpa, no one …