'Till We Meet Again

This is the closest I have been to death. My Grandfather died today. He has been sick for a long time and my grandmother worked hard to keep him alive. The guy had nine lives.

At 11:43 this morning I got an email from my aunt announcing his death. I called my mom thinking should would need comforting at a time like this, but when she answered the phone, her cheery voice let me know she did not know the news. I broke the news to my mother that her father passed away. I don't know if she thought I was joking or if she needed to hear it twice, but she said to me, "Melody, did my father die?" She was driving to work on the freeway and needed to pull over. I then called my brother Brandon, surely he knew seeing it as he lives with my grandma and grandpa, but he had been out and did not get the email. Therefore, I told him what happened. We then went over to the hospital. My grandfather was in the ER, that is where he was rushed earlier this morning when he was having trouble breathing. When we were let in, the chaplin asked us how much we knew about my grandfather's condition. It was interesting because she was trying to find out if she needed to break the news of his death to us. I told her we knew he passed, and she walked us down to the curtained off room he was in. Before we entered, she warned us that he didn't look very good, and that the doctors did all they could to revive him, but that he died in the ambulance on the way over. When the curtain was parted I saw my little grandmother hunched over her husband's body. Her arms were wrapped around his head and she was talking on the phone to my mother. I don't know if I will forget how my grandfather looked. He was white, his mouth gaped open, one eye closed and the other half open, as if he was winking, and his frail body nearly disappeared under the white sheets--a far cry from the tall, large, fun loving man he once was.

My grandmother kept thinking she saw him moving--first she thought he was breathing, then his lip quivering, and then she thought she saw his eyelash move. It was hard to watch her cry over her loss. She told him she loved him constantly. They knew each other for 70 years.

Brandon and I sat with her at first, and then her oldest daughter Pam came. We sat with him until they kicked us out at 2:30.

He died on my grandmother's birthday. He was 85 years old.

The funeral is Friday, April 10th.

Here Grandpa is with his wonderful family on my wedding day

Nathan and I with my Grandma and Grandpa Kirkham