The thought’s been hovering in my head since forever but I still haven’t taken that final leap of getting closure.
My grandfather died in 2004… I think. I say I think because I’m mentally trained not to even ask about it. It physically hurts, even now. It was July and my sister, mother and I were at a local swimming pool on an island (we have a summer house there). It was all fun and games up until my mother got a call. There had been an accident and it was serious.
I remember getting on the first ferry out of there and it was all a daze. The very same night, we arrive back to the city and I know that I have to be there to see him because my grandfather would probably like it for me to be there. You see, we have always been best friends, almost in an us-against-the-world kind of way. I knew that me being there would change everything. My parents thought it was a bad idea. He had been hurt when a car ran through a red light and I shouldn’t see him that way. One could say he was… killed?
I guess that what I really wanted was to say goodbye. My mind goes back and forth on that, yes, it would be terrible to see him dying but then again, it might have made things easier in hindsight.
That same night my sister and I were told that he died. I don’t remember how I reacted because I pretty much spent the rest of the time wishing I had called him that morning just for a second, so the car would have passed, so I could have prevented this with such a simple solution.
I was already a strange kid but this fucked me up a lot. I didn’t cry at the funeral because I was so angry at everyone pretending to be upset, people my grandfather made fun and people that never seemed to care when he was alive. I felt like it was up to me to represent him so I couldn’t cry, I had to be strong.
Honestly, the rest couple of years were a blur of just lying in bed and wishing that my life would turn into a Hollywood movie. The movie where you wake up and it was all a dream. I wish that movie cliche happened in real life… but guess what? It doesn’t. I’ve never tried to conjure anything as hard as I wished my grandfather was alive.
The divide I always had with people now had visible boundaries. They could so easily get over things. Who the fuck cared about grandparents anyway? Weren’t they just old people who gave you candy? What kind of relationship could you have with them that matters so much?
Well, it mattered to me a lot. He was my best friend and this loss haunts me a lot. I don’t know when it will become a fond memory, how many decades are supposed to pass me by? Let’s try and put down those countless dreams where I randomly see him in a crowd and holy fuck, the mind can be so scary because I can see him in every single detail. And I’m always asking him how come he’s here, he’s dead, long gone, how can he be here and talking to me?
I don’t like to admit to bring him up but it’s not healthy to react to his memory in sadness and tears anymore. I want to remember how he hated having people over and would wear his pajamas and proclaim loudly to the guests that he was sleepy.
So… I want to get closure.
That’s by confronting family members instead of having fantasies about it.
That’s by going to the cemetery and visiting his grave for the first time since he was buried. I’m not religious or spiritual but knowing that there’s just a layer of dirt between us feels soothing.
I think I’d like to do that.