Today I have no words.

It’s been one week since my maternal grandfather died. I did not get to see my grandfather before he died, like my brothers and cousins and family did when he was in the hospital. Nor was I able to attend his funeral. Two things I will never forgive myself for.

Today I am filled with memories of my childhood, of the man who loved me unconditionally, a man who showered me with love from the moment I was born, to when I spoke to him for the last time as he lay dying in the hospital bed. I am bursting with images of him and all the things he did and said, as well as all the times I was too busy to talk to him and brushed him off. I am filled with guilt.

Today my heart begs me to find solace in my mother’s arms, like I so often did when I was a kid, but then I realise that I am an adult and must bear this alone. She lost her father and must support her mother, my grandmother, who is now a widow. Their grief is unimaginable. I must bear this alone.

It’s been a week of disbelief and hundreds of moments where I remember him, only to realise he is gone. Being far from him makes it harder to come to terms with his absence. I didn’t see him fall ill nor did I watch his body give up its will to fight. I am oblivious to this horrific images. Sometimes when my phone rings with both my grandparents names on the screen, I mistakenly think I might hear his voice again. For a brief moment I forget.

Today I realise how much I need to cherish my family, because I don’t know when they’ll be gone. I never realised, when I hugged my grandfather back in July, and felt his scratchy face as he kissed my head, that it would be the last time. I never knew that I would never see him again, or that if I did, it would be for a brief moment, on a tiny screen, in which he could barely speak. I had no idea.

Life has a strange quality to it these days. Being away from everyone makes me miss them even more, and I spend my days longing to to go back, to cherish those family BBQs, movie nights, impromptu parties, and weddings. I long to go back.

Today, it’s been a week, but I still don’t know what to do with myself. Today, I have no words.

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  1. Natalie says:

    I’m sorry for your loss! I lost my grandfather when I was away from home too, and I also found it really hard being away from my family at that time. My grandfather was one of the closest people to me, and losing him was a huge blow for the first few months. As time went by though I started to realize how lucky I was to have had over 20 years of life with him, and so many amazing memories! I still talk to him all the time in my head, and whenever something funny, sad, or amazing happens, I always immediately know exactly what he would do or say….so in a way it feels like he is still here with me! Hopefully you’ll come to feel this way too soon!
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    • Ikhlas says:

      Thanks so much for your message and your kind words, Natalie! It is hard being away from the family. And yeah, I immediately recognized how lucky I was to have spent so many amazing years with him. I’m very blessed that way. It’s just hard knowing I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye 🙁

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