This past October, I lost one of the most important men in my life. My 90-year-old Polish grandfather, Edward, succumbed to throat cancer. While he lived, he was more like a father than a grandfather to me. He played a large role in my life when I had little to no parental interaction.
As I sat on his bedside with his body empty of a soul, his heart no longer beating, awaiting transport to the morgue, I reached out to touch his hands. His lifeless body was already cool as it took me two and a half hours to get to him. I felt immense regret at not being able to reach him before he crossed over to the spirit world, but we hadn’t been living in the same town.
When I touched his hands, he let out a sigh of relief. I knew the gasses in his body were dissipating, but for me, it felt like a sigh of relief that I was finally there with him.
Beyond that, there was no spiritual connection immediately following his death. I sat at his side trying to dial into his vibration and channel him, but I had no success. Maybe it was too soon? Maybe I was too close to him and emotionally not ready to connect? Maybe it was not even possible since he was in transition between here and there? During this time at his bedside, I did have an outburst of tears, but it was brief and liberating. After a while, I left the room and spent time with family. We held space for each other and took it all in.
Three days later as I was meditating in my sauna, Grandpa arrived unexpectedly. I saw him in a garage holding a jumbo bolt and some kind of file that had the shape of a pencil. To me, the two objects didn’t seem like they went together, but what do I know? I never spent much time in a shop.
As I acknowledged him, he looked up from his focused action, and said to me telepathically, “Please tell all of the men in the family to appreciate where they are at right now, because sooner than later, they won’t feel much like a man anymore.”
Then he disappeared. Grandpa was a man’s man. He liked tinkering in the garage and had a fond love for the boys in the family. We girls were adored too, but Gramps had a special appreciation for what the boys were up to. I interpreted his words to mean: life is short— go live it before other people have to brush your teeth and put your socks on for you. Don’t take anything for granted; it all goes by way too fast.
The next day, we celebrated my grandfather’s life and buried his and Grandma’s cremated remains together. I often joke about having left Grandma sitting on the shelf for eight years. Now it was time for the two of them to be reunited.
Funerals are a time when family and friends gather to reminisce about days gone by and cherish fond memories. They also can remind us of the difficult situations still taking place within our families and relationships. It’s a reminder to look inside ourselves to heal old wounds and forgive past mistakes and transgressions.
Before long, we will all be at the altar of death. Hopefully, by that time we will have learned a healthy process for grieving and we will be thankful for the choices we made in relationships and life.
During the burial ceremony, I dropped to my knees in grief over the loss of my beloved grandparents who both loved me as no parent had. A great sensation came over me while I wept…without them, who was I? They were the front-runners of my life. They loved me unconditionally. It is because of them that I have begun to step into who I truly am. This is the very first time overwhelming sadness has brought me to my knees. Although I know where they are and both have reached me through spirit, my heart still misses their human roles in my life.
I am forever grateful for such loving people. I still drop a few tears as I think of them both. That’s probably the way it will always be.