If the talk of someone passing bothers you, please do not read on. I don’t like pulling up painful memories for anyone but I need to get these thoughts out.
So a week ago something major happened in our life. We got word that Grendal’s grandfather passed away. He had been in bad shape for the past few weeks. He had an infection doctors couldn’t really track, his Parkinson’s was at it’s worse, and there was something wrong with his brain. Grendal’s father and two remaining siblings had a decision to make at that point: agree to brain surgery and let their father be bed bound until who knows how long or make sure he was comfortable. They picked the latter, knowing that their father would not want to be left in bed, albeit in a better state.
Months earlier Grendal’s grandmother had passed away. His grandparents had been together for over 60 years. It was rare for them to be apart for a day or more. You could see the pain in Grandpa’s face and even one of his friends said, during his eulogy, that he had lost his spark when his lady love had passed. We could all see it. And as horrible as it sounds we were waiting see how long he lasted.
When the heads of a large family pass it’s a gamble to see what happens to the rest of the family. At this point the oldest and youngest children, both uncles of Grendal’s, had passed away. One, while sudden, was long expected and the other was heart-crushingly sudden. Those deaths brought Grendal’s family together. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and all. We all wept and comforted each other.
With Grandpa’s passing, like I mentioned, the end of the large family is here. Now the aunts, uncles, and cousins have their own families to watch over, their own grandchildren to watch grow. Grendal and I had a feeling this would happen but nothing prepared us for what had happened this past weekend, which is when Grandpa was given his final farewell.
The oldest surviving child apparently has always been out for money. Before Grandpa passed he made sure his check book and bank account was kept from her, and even went as far as having Grendal’s parents remove certain items from the house (one was a sewing machine which was over 1,000$) to make sure that child didn’t get to it. As things progressed over the weekend and the remaining family members went through the belongings of their departed heads of family. It was like a whirlwind. By the end of the day most of the house had been cleaned out, things spoken for, and things that we hadn’t thought were up for grabs, taken. The oldest surviving child had went through the garage, taking many things that Grandpa had, things that were going to be laid out to the men of the family to give them all a chance to take what they had wanted.
Grandpa was a woodworker. Grendal and his father are woodworkers as well, a tradition passed down through the family and they were the only ones that had taken it up. The eldest child took those tools, many of them old and valuable, and we know very well that she will sell them without a thought. It pains Grendal’s father to see his family acting like this, and it angers both Grendal and his brother.
I had always thought that death in a family brought the family together and perhaps strengthened them. I had two grandparents pass away before I knew them, even a great-grandmother. My only memorable exposures to death are of the furry, four-legged family members. While that is no less of a loss than a human life, I cannot connect with Grendal on such a level. Watching his two uncles pass and even his grandmother, I expected to see the coming together of many lives to console each other, to think of the good times. Never did I think that I would see this family, a lovingly large family that has been called a clan, go down in a blaze.
Grendal has said that bridges have been burned and I can see it.