I had intended my second post-hiatus post to be happier than this, but.
My grandfather died this morning. 9:05 AM. He was 89 and had Alzheimer's and Parkinson's for thirteen years. The Parkinson's had gotten so bad he couldn't swallow for the past several days. I don't feel like I have the words right now. I loved him very much.
We were supposed to wake up at noon and visit him today, me, my brother Will and my mom. An hour or so before my alarm, my mom came into my room and explained that we had to leave early. She started to say why, but I couldn't make it out in my state and through her tears, but, you know, I could tell.
Today is the first time I can recall seeing someone dead in real life. I don't have the art right now to, well, do anything any justice. He was cold, but not too cold. I rubbed his head like I always do --- I have loved to rub his head since I was a child, it was always very fuzzy, since he was rather bald --- and I can still feel the sensation on my palm if I concentrate. I can see his body lying in his bed and my brother, Nels, standing next to me as we listened to "May It Be" from LOTR. But I can't give it life in text. His face was gaunt, almost skeletal. He hadn't eaten or drank in days, and had lost a lot of weight, and it showed in his cheeks. His mouth was open, as it was Wednesday when I last saw him alive, his top teeth far ahead of his bottom teeth. Only one eye closed all the way. He looked dead. He had looked dead when I saw him Wednesday for the first time in a year, but not as dead as this.
I've been looking for this digital photo of him, but I can't find it. I think I left it in Oregon. Maybe later I'll post something that does things justice, but for now, I'm just going to crib from the dedication from my thesis.
[M]y grandfather, Hal, who I love.
A kind and wonderful man with a fuzzy head.