On Death and Dying

There are other things I wanted to talk about this morning. Actually I hadn't really planned on blogging at all, now that studying is back in full force, I've been finding I don't always have the time I need to sit down and spill my guts.

But this one warranted such a spillage. I need to get something off my chest.

My step-grandfather died on Sunday. Fathers Day. Ech. He isn't my "grandfather." We aren't blood related. And honestly, I wasn't even that close to him. He was married to my grandmother, my Dad's mom, my Meme. That's about as deep as the connection goes.

Family history always tends to be sordid, but here's the short of the deal. GrandDaddy and Meme got divorced when my Dad was about 13 years old. TERRIFIC age for your parents to get divorced. Luckily my Dad managed to come out unscathed and is amazing to my Mom and me. Anyway, his sisters were quite a bit younger, so they went off with Meme to grow up, while my Dad stayed with GrandDaddy.

It wasn't amicable. Not in the least. Meme had been running around on GrandDaddy, specifically with the man who ended up being my step-grandfather. It started when GrandDaddy went off to war, and then continued upon his return. She would tell him she was going to work, or to spend time with friends. NOPE. Here's how whacked it got--once he found out she was cheating on him, he would go find her, and bring her home and tell her he forgave her! Over and over! And she kept doing it. My Dad saw it all and heard it all.

Can I just tell you that when I found out the truth about all this I was crushed? I mean, CRUSHED. My GrandDaddy is seriously, one of the sweetest, kindest, easy-going people on the whole entire planet. He was so generous with all his kids and grandkids and I never once heard him say a harsh word. I was mad. I was really angry at Meme. Now, of course, by the time I found out, she was old. I mean, real old. Not Alzheimers old at that point, but old enough that my anger did nothing but hurt me. But it changed my opinion of my step-grandfather. I always treated him with respect, and I supposed I loved him when I was little. But I stopped liking him from there on out. My Dad of course, never really liked him. I mean, how could he? But I have to say, I NEVER EVER knew that. My Dad always treated him with the utmost respect, and I never knew anything was out of the ordinary until he told me the truth about the divorce probably 5-6 years ago.

And that's where we are now. He died. I was asked to be a pallbearer at his funeral (all the grandkids were). I said no. Mostly because when I was asked he wasn't dead and I didn't know when he was going to die and I'm pretty busy with bar stuff. I mean, what if he held out until July 27th?? That sounds harsh, yes, but it was the truth.

I've always been weird with death. When I hear someone died, I'm saddened, but I never get upset until I actually see them dead. Is that weird? I don't know. For some reason just saying it has never really done much for me before I see them. When my Dad told me he died, I said oh, ok. And I know that a lot of it has to do with how I feel towards the whole situation.

What got this going is a cousin's (she is the daughter of my Dad's youngest sister) recent status on fb about her "grandfather" passing. That really upset me. I wanted to call her up and say: this man is NOT our grandfather! Do you have any idea what he did to our family? Do you have any idea what our Meme did to our family with him? Do you have any clue that this man cheated on his own wife with OUR Meme? Do you not recall how his kids were always superior to us? How our parents and all of us were never good enough to warrant a "congratulations" over his own biological kids/grandkids? Have you never heard your own mother tell stories of how growing up in his home was a nightmare? He is NOT our grandfather.

And now I'm conflicted. This makes me really sad. I have so much ill will for this man, inside my own self, that he probably never had a clue about. I'm so mad about something that happened in the past, that its clouded how I feel right now. The funeral is tomorrow and I told my Dad I'd go to the funeral with him, I think BC is coming too. Honestly, I think I'm more sad about my lack of forgiveness than his actual passing. GrandDaddy was able to forgive Meme and my step-grandfather for what they did. My Dad was able to forgive. I should too.

Tomorrow is going to be weird. I know it. I have a lot of praying and soul searching to do about this. I guess all I can say is, when it comes to family, you get over it and move on. Either keep people in your life or cut them out, but don't harbor anything against them. It only affects you and makes you sad in the end. I think all this has taught me a lot, one of the most long and drawn-out lessons I've ever had to learn.  Love, don't hate.

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