My youngest sibling stood with us in the snow and looked down to where we were looking. I don’t think she’s at the age that could comprehend a tombstone with a name on it. She’s heard us say my grandfather died. She even asked my grandmother if she was sure he wasn’t coming back, but at that moment in particular, I don’t think she knows what it meant except that it meant sadness. My grandfather was anything but sadness. He had such a heartwarming smile and a heartfelt laugh.He always had something good and encouraging to say.
It was a cold Thursday when we went to visit him. That wasn’t the plan, though. My family and I were supposed to see him for a few hours in the airport before our plane departures to another state. The plan wasn’t for us to stand there with him buried under the dirt and snow for a few minutes in the cold.
We, his wife, daughters, son, nieces and nephews, gathered around as the snow fell down on. A moment of silence overcame us, and now that I think back to it, I can’t help but remember that same silence that overcame my campus almost a year ago for Saji Darwish’s funeral.
My grandfather’s picture hangs in our living room, and every time I look at the picture, I can’t help but wonder how one day a person could be there in a place you’re familiar with, smiling, and then one day, they can’t physically be there anymore.
I don’t know why or how it comes to be, but it’s an idea we have in our heads that the people we love will stick around for as long as we live, even if those people are our grandparents. We think they’ll live in our forever. We hope they do. Sometimes, we make it through life long enough to realize the disappointment.
May the souls of our loved ones rest in peace.