It was a Saturday morning in September. I had made plans to travel the hour or so to visit my grandfather again in hospice when I got the phone call that he had just died.
I knew he was doing poorly; he had been going through radiation therapy and had broken his neck in a fall days earlier. But I had spent the previous evening with him and though he never opened his eyes, his hands were still so strong.
I thought I would get to see him at least one more time.
That same day, I got extremely ill. More sick than I have been in several years. I was too weak for thinking, much less to visit my dad or my aunt or, most importantly, my granny. I was too weak to grieve.
When I was asked to do a memorial video for my grandfather, I was honored and accepted. When I became strong enough to sit up in bed I began this project, pouring over every detail in hopes that it would make my grandfather proud.
Being occupied by this labor of love, I still hadn’t begun to grieve.
I have experienced five very painful losses; my grandfather’s death being the most painful. Each one, the full pain of loss hit as soon as it could… with the exception of my grandfather. I did cry when I got that initial phone call but actual grief was like a dark shadow standing near me; not quite interfering in my life, yet.
The reality of death hit me like a gun shot into the chest as I loaded that final frame into my grandfather’s memorial video. I typed out his first day and his last day and I finally grieved.
Eddie Vedder, Man of the Hour