My grandpa died on Saturday. I got the call during our morning breakfast ritual. Living in Germany, and being in the US so briefly, I’m currently reliant on WiFi to connect with the outside world. My mom’s call came in shoddy…”Hello? Jordan? Can you hear me?” My connection was bad so my .03 second delay in response time didn’t (nor does it ever) cooperate with my mom’s short attention span. “Jordan, MY DAD DIED. HELLO? Can you hear me? GRANDPA’S DEAD.”
I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me, apparently. The call was dropped within seconds and that was that. Grandpa died.
No appetite anymore, I went straight to the computer to look at flights. There are a lot of small airports near where we are at in Alabama; none with affordable last-minute flights to Phoenix. Still, within 24 hours, I arrived and the “work” began immediately.
My grandma just died in April. We were still in Germany at the time and it killed me to miss being with my family, my favorite people, while they were grieving. Especially my mother. Being in the US, it wasn’t going to happen that way again. Apparently I thought that this [mostly] mentally stable and healthy group of siblings would handle this better. I was WRONG.
What a nightmare! The tension and fighting began within minutes of my uncle arriving – after a 12 hour drive – to see his father’s house in chaos as we were sorting through some 10,000+ pictures and keepsakes my grandmother meticulously kept. From that moment, one wrong sentence, misinterpreted, and the whole week was shot. No reasoning, intense grief, decades of resentment, and alcohol – not the greatest combination for a beloved man’s wake.
I hope I find the time and energy to write more about it later. I’ve been thinking of writing, but too covered in the dust of a 72+ year collection of STUFF. Surrounded by baggage resentment that I never knew existed.
I’m heartbroken and disappointed. I’m sad because my favorite family is straight-up BROKEN. It’s not fair to my future kids, or to my parents, or theirs.
He never wanted this, I’ll tell you that. They’re all giving up but I have to stay strong. I really do believe in our family love. I’m too young to take the matriarch role, but shit… I don’t know if anyone else can bear the weight of the shoes.
Right now, it’s a loose fit, but I’m wearing them.
Then I remember that I’ll be leaving country again soon.