Today marks the 1st anniversary of my father’s death at 60 from pancreatic cancer.
It’s also been almost two months since my grandfather (his father) died, aged 96. The photo up top is of my grandpa, my little sister, my dad, and me. Probably somewhere in Los Angeles in 1988.
My feelings about my father have been fairly well-documented here (we were close.) I miss him very much and I haven’t quite lost the surreal feeling that I can just call him and he’ll answer his phone.
I’m happy he got his wish to die at home, though it’s still strange to have been right there when he died. I won’t forget how it feels to check for a pulse and not find one. I get little bits of cartharsis here and there, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty was strangely comforting. I got my teaching credential, which is bittersweet.
My grandfather, however, was more complicated. He was usually kind towards me, but not always towards my father and his siblings. His mother lost two brothers during the Mexican Revolution not long before he was born. He was basically a hobo by 12 years of age during the Great Depression, during which time he was mostly a migrant farm worker. He drove in the Red Ball Express in WWII, arriving in Normandy two weeks after D-Day. He had a life I can’t imagine. I didn’t speak to him often in the last year of his life because I was still reeling from my dad’s death.
I didn’t go to his funeral because I broke contact with some family while my dad was dying. I was still too raw.
I just feel weird, it does not feel like it’s been a year.