Grieving Family You Were Not Always Close To

There is a part of me that feels guilty when I’m breaking down in tears because I read in the news that someone I have never met has died.

I feel ashamed for grieving over a stranger, when those who knew them are probably going through the worst time in their life.

I feel a lot, my emotions are always on high alert and when it comes to death, I guess I just hate the idea that anyone has to die.

At the time of writing this, my Grandpa passed away a few hours ago.

If doesn’t feel right because me and my mother recently spoke about going down to visit him and the importance of it.

We were planning to see my Grandpa the next few months.

I guess it never stops being shocking as to how quick things can change.

The last few times I have seen my Grandpa, I honestly developed this sweet spot for him.

The moments where he would refuse to eat a main meal, just so he could get two portions of banana pudding.

Or that time when before my uncle could tell him to save my cousins brownies for later, he’d already scoffed down the lot.

Especially the moments where his eyes lit up when I showed him pictures of my cat and my dog.

Or how incredibly accepting he was when he met my husband for the first time.

Or how he payed for me to be tested for dyslexia, because I couldn’t afford it.

Or where he sat with real intrigue while my brother’s spoke about their trip to Africa.

My heart especially yearned when I noticed that he still kept a photo of my Grandma close by. And when he was in so much pain from an infection that he said he just wanted to die.

Most of all, it hurt when he apologized because he felt like his company was not enough. It was more than enough.

The truth is that me and my Grandpa were not always close.

I have more memories of times he told me off as a kid, compared to the times he spent quality time with me.

A part of me feared the man, at least, at that younger and more tender age.

I was so jealous of my cousins for having a loving relationship with him. I wanted that.

I honestly just got along better with my Granny, who passed about ten years ago now.

Despite this, there were still memories of him letting us play with his collection of puppets.

And him making us these amazing paper chains that were so intricate.

I guess as a child, I resented him in a way. He always came across cold and rarely showed love towards me and my brothers.

I just wanted even one Grandpa, because I never had the luxury of having two.

So maybe it wasn’t resentment, it was me wanting his acceptance.

As I’ve learned more about him in my adult years, I know he was just a man who dealt with so much hardship in his life. He struggled. I feel for him.

A few years ago he opened up, he felt this remorse for his actions and showed love for the first time. It felt warm and genuine.

I couldn’t be mad at a person who was only human.

I couldn’t be angry that he had a rough life and very little emotional support through it.

It wasn’t his fault.

His generation of course aren’t really known for talking about their feelings.

So, when I got the call this morning, I instantly went silent, my throat swelled and my eyes were blinded by tears.

Grief had come back one more time to say hello.

But I felt guilty, how could I feel this way over a man I once didn’t like?

How dare I have this sense of loss for a man I only bonded with on several occasions?

I felt ashamed that I did love him but spent so many years angry at him.

And more so annoyed at myself for not building a bridge sooner, so that I would have a few extra years with him.

The thing is, not everyone in our family is a person we will be close to.

And it can leave this strange grey area when they pass.

But I think the only thing to remember is this, you’re entitled to your feelings, good or bad.

Don’t be ashamed to grieve or allow yourself to feel over the death of someone.

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