While this blog is and will remain a space for increasing brain injury awareness, it is also one of the few places where I allow the words of my heart to seep out. And right now my heart is breaking. For the past few weeks my grandfather has been dying.
My eighty nine year old grandfather…my Poppop.
We all knew this was coming. I’ve been secretly bracing myself for it for years, knowing that as I’ve grown older, so has he. But it seems there is no amount of preparation for the ugliness of death.
I foolishly thought that my experience through the brain injury had armed my heart against such grief. I thought as I had grown strong, I had built up a sort of immunity to heart ache. I was wrong.
There are many forms of heart ache. With the brain injury, swirled doubt and anger and fear. With my Poppop I only feel sadness in knowing the inevitable.
So our family has gathered around him; a life time of relationships and memories, whispering final words and forever goodbyes. We have sat with him, smiling through held hands. Sometimes talking about the small things, sometimes not saying anything at all. It was the silence where the most was said; the knowing, the sadness, the tears. The fear of a life without him and the lifetime of love that can only ever be felt, never said. It was our spirits saying goodbye.
He died this morning.
I know this is a part of life. I know this is the natural order of things. I know this is something we all must face one day. I know I will get through this.
So why can’t I stop crying?