Grandpa

Dear Grandpa, wherever you are,

I recall sitting on your knee and goggling at your false teeth.
Cackling at the sight of your bare gums you bared sneakily behind disapproving Grandma.
Honking your nose as if you were my very own clown there for my entertainment.
You were a contradiction; you had a dignified countenance but a slapstick alter ego.
In old photos you were the typical English gentleman, clad in a suit, slight smile and lovingly by Grandma’s side. Those photos were black and white, but I can remember your olive skin and subtly vibrant personality.
I choose to remember you like this.
Towards the end, as I sat anxiously across the dining table from you, I might have well as been a stranger for that’s all that I was to you but I know it wasn’t your fault, nor your wish.
It almost made it easier I was six at the time, as I couldn’t imagine going through it now. My age shielded me from too much grief from lack of understanding.
Now it seems almost bizarre you passed away in the living room. I felt confronted with fear for the first time, seeing you still on the rented hospital bed. I was too scared to kiss you goodbye because you weren’t you anymore. You were the first dead person I had seen.
Although it makes me sad I can’t remember your thick accent, at least I have one or two happy memories of you. I would have loved to get to know you, and grow up with you. I know everybody, especially Grandma, misses you very much.

Love your Granddaughter.

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