I‘m totally not kidding you when I say that I honest to gawd just had the best moment of life.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
As many of you know, my Grandpa (aka: Gpa) passed away in August and my life, and my heart has since been completely shattered. Dealing with loss has been a challenge for me since I shared a very unique bond with this cheerful little old man, and losing him has left me broken. Dealing with death is always difficult, but something that I never really struggled with… Untill the passing of my Grandpa. In fact, dealing with death has taken on a whole new meaning. …Or lack of dealing with death, as some of my family members may argue. Hey! To each their own, right?
Each and every day, I think of my Grandpa. I think of his smile. His giggle. His kisses. His hugs and his, “Ooooh, Tilly!” And what kills me the most is knowing that I selfishly have the rest of my life without him, but knowing that he is in heaven dancing the polka with my grandma makes dealing with death worth it. As morbid as that kind of sounds… Because how can dealing with loss be a positive thing… Or at least, that was my thinking prior to this morning.
I used to work in Conestoga Mall and since my grandpa and his buddies used to “chum” there, as he would say, I spent a lot of early mornings sipping coffee and enjoying random chatter with the coolest old dudes ever… and cool gals too. Honestly. The older ladies were all googley for my Grandpa. It was adorable. Him and his friends were studs. Just sayin’
Sometimes I would even be in my teenage retail store working, and I’d turn around to see my grandpa’s best friend wheeling my grandpa in his wheelchair, with a giant smile on his face… Just to say hello to me, and to give me a kiss.
Gawd, I miss those moments.
Well, today I had to go to Conestoga Mall, and I usually bypass the food court at all costs since this is where we would have our morning coffees. I simply haven’t been ready to start dealing with loss in public, you know? However, today got the best of me, and it was so worth it. I captured the glimpse of a man to my right as I headed towards the Tim Hortons to get myself a morning coffee, when I stopped mid step, twirled around, placed my hand on this gentleman’s arm and asked,
“You’re my Grandpa’s friend, aren’t you?”
With a giant smile, he looked up at me with the softest eyes and said, “Kenny’s grand daughter, right?”
A quick hello turned into a nice long conversation with him and his wife, hearing all the ridiculous stories of them when they were 19, up until the very last day he spent on earth. It was amazing. I’ve been told by several people that I was my Grandpa’s girl. Of course, I always knew this, but you know that your grandparents can’t claim favourites, right?
Well, I guess my Grandpa’s girlie friend knew that I was first. She said, “I always knew I was number two. You were his number one. You were his girl“. I tried hard to hold back the happy tears that were building in my eyes. I felt my grandpa right there with us, giggling at the stories we all treasure.
They told me things that I said to my Grandpa that he shared with them. Like how I always said how he couldn’t die before me because I couldn’t live without him. He’d tell me that I’m shit out of luck, and we’d both chuckle away at the fact that my old Grandpa just said “shit”. Grandpa’s best friend told me today, that he too, was scared to leave me, but knew I’d learn to be okay.
It was a fabulous start to my day, and I reached over to give my grandpa’s best friend and wife a generous hug, as they had no idea how much they just changed my day, my life, my way of dealing with death. I learned that I found a new way of dealing with loss. And that is to remember everything prior. To listen to the giggles in your memory, and the smiles in your heart.
Dealing with loss has suddenly become easier for me, because I now realize that I haven’t lost anything. Everything that I knew, loved and admired is still here with me….