Memories remain

No one ever really dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories.
~ Chris Sorensen

This past night my grandpa died. He was 87.
I’ve never experienced the loss of a close family member before, we’ve been really blessed this far.
Luckily my grandpa didn’t suffer. It was quick. Within 7 hours he was gone. He didn’t feel pain and was surrounded by loved ones when he took his final breath.

He was a wonderful and inspiring person. At the age of 21 he lost his left arm in the Second World War. He could have died then and there, but the grenade splinters claimed the life of his friend instead. He met my grandma shortly after the war and they’ve been married for over 64 years.
Right to this day they’ve been in love with each other. Deeply. Holding hands, supporting each other during many health setbacks – a poster book marriage.

We grandchildren never questioned why our grandpa only had one arm, and he never let that drag him down either.
My grandpa’s life was his garden. He always had a project, hauling stones, planting patches, taking care of his roses.
I’m not a religious person, far from it, but I believe that there is something out there – my grandpa must have known that his time would come to an end.
In the morning on the day he died, he went out to his garden, sat in his chair and took it all in. He had never done that before.
In the afternoon he told my sister “I have to finish my work in the garden”.
Late afternoon he collapsed there and was taken to the hospital. He died there 6 hours later, peacefully falling asleep.
My mom and I were at home while the rest of my family was there with him. The last time I saw him was on Sunday, family dinner, where he ordered a double grappa.
This is my last memory that I have of him. I’m glad to have it, him, full of life, laughing and joking.

I’ll miss you grandpa. I hope wherever you are that there’s a beautiful garden and a grappa waiting for you.

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