Losing a grandparent is never easy, no matter when in life it happens. I lost my first grandparent over 20 years ago when I was 21. He was my paternal grandfather and died of cancer before his 70th birthday. It was horrible and heartbreaking but since then I have been spared the pain of losing another and all three have been in pretty good health until last week when my 94 year old paternal grandfather quickly became ill and died without much indication of what was to come.
My family is one of those where some have chosen to move away (usually for work) but a large proportion of us live where we grew up and within stone throws of each other. I have been lucky enough to see my remaining grandparents frequently and am very thankful for this. However, even though I know 94 years is a fantastic life and we have been very lucky to have him that long … it isn’t long enough!
Grandparents fulfill such an amazing role in so many families. Mine have always been great supports and used to take me on holidays and for days out when I was a child. My paternal grandfather was a true gentleman and taught me so much about being kind and generous in nature. Unfortunately I didn’t inherit his amazing mathematical abilities and never managed to balance my books despite his great example. He never lost the desire to learn new things and was given a laptop for his 90th birthday – something he quickly got to grips with and used daily.
I had the pleasure of chatting to him on many occasions over the years and did find out lots of information and hear magical stories but there are still wonderful new tales being told now. It is so important to gather as much family history as you can … I wish I had asked more questions and written things down.
Losing a grandparent is something I should have been prepared for considering their advancing ages but it has still come as an unexpected shock. Somehow I thought they would live forever and boy, don’t I wish they could…