Diapers and Dragons

Monday, October 17, 2011

Au Revoir, Grandpere

To the seeing again...

That's the literal translation of the French farewell, and it is what I say to my grandfather. He passed away quietly, peacefully on Saturday evening, traveling from this world to the next between one breath and....

The day before, my father had purchased some summer sausage and cheddar cheese, two of my grandfather's favorite foods, long since forbidden due to dietary restrictions. But what of a diet so near the end? He had barely been able to swallow anything for days due to the edema. On Friday, he ate sausage and cheese for three meals, delighting in the rich tastes he loved. He woke Saturday and had his bowl of Cream of Wheat. After changing clothing, his last traces of energy drained away and he closed his eyes and began slipping away.

I got the call from my father during breakfast. MTL came home early from work and he drove me up to Saginaw, where we joined other family members gathering to say their au revoirs. We spent the day talking and laughing over memories, watching my alma mater Michigan State University trounce their rival University of Michigan for the fourth year in a row, and comforting one another. We held vigil in a sense, gathered together in mutual love for the once-hearty, now-frail man lying under blankets in his armchair, not quite in a coma but not fully with us either. We touched him, spoke to him, assured him of our love.

Finally, knowing he could linger for another hour or a couple more days, MTL and I took our leave. I kissed my grandfather one more time, told him that I loved him, and we drove away. As we left, one of my aunts was putting on some of his favorite music.

Fifteen minutes later my father called to tell me that Grandpa had passed.

When my time comes, I want a similar passing: peaceful, quiet, surrounded by the love and laughter of those I love most. I want my ashes scattered in a beautiful place where they may join the earth from which I was formed. And I'll see my grandfather again, along with my aunt and others who have gone before.

Au revoir, Grandpere. Je t'aime.

Until we meet again.

2 bits of love:

Liz K said...

what a lovely ending to this part of life! Glad you had time to linger with him!

Middle State/MomZombie said...

Beautifully written, as always. Sorry to hear of the passing of your grandfather.

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