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Your grandpa was awesome! Week #46

Dear Luki,

There’s a character — a teenage boy — in a book I’m reading who lost his father. It’s interesting how much more I notice death in everything now, even fiction. How deeply I am impacted by it. How very clearly I understand it.

Until it shows up to devastate your life, Luki, death is a very abstract concept. At least it was for me.

This character’s father was a poet and there is a lovely part in the book in which the boy says that it makes him happy that poems continue to be referred to in the present tense, even when the poet is in the past. After reading it, I immediately thought of your grandpa. He wasn’t a poet, but there are so many things he left behind that continue to be. So many things that are and that will be, even though he was.

As the anniversary of his death lurks nearer and nearer, one of the many feelings I’m experiencing is disbelief. I can’t believe it’s already been a year. In my life, your grandpa continues to be so present. As if he’d been here yesterday. There’s nothing I do that doesn’t include a vivid memory of him. From the mundane, like peeling garlic or pumping gas, to the essential, like dealing with stress or helping a friend. I constantly ask myself, “What would my father do?” and I always have an answer.

And, like the boy in the book, it makes me happy. I’m still sad and angry and the thought of having to wake up on November 28th makes me sick to my stomach. But I’m also happy. Because there are so many things that still are.

He didn’t write any poems, but he left an encyclopedia of fundamental wisdom in all of our hearts. One that can only be referred to in the present tense.

I promise to show you everything that still is, my boy.



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