An absolutely perfect goodbye.

I spent the entire weekend with my Grandpa.  I talked with him, rubbed his feet (his feet!!), trimmed his eyebrows, brushed gook off his face, fixed his hair, made him comfortable and most most importantly, I made him laugh.

On Saturday I was there with my mom.  We were the only ones there with him.  My Grandpa is in really good spirits and is still surprisingly alert.  Even though he can’t talk, his face speaks volumes.  He seems to be rather silly actually.  (I get my sense of humor solely from my Grandpa.  Nobody else gets us).  I noticed that his feet and legs were exceptionally dry.  This wasn’t going to work for me so I found some Cherry Blossom hand lotion in my mom’s purse and gave him a foot and leg massage.  He loved it of course – I mean who wouldn’t right? Then I simply had to point out that he now smelled like a girl and he could not stop himself from laughing.  See?  He gets me.

At one point I asked my mom if I could speak to him for a few minutes alone.  She knew why (so did he).  I got really close to his face and started to tell him how much I love him and that he means the world to me.  I will never forget him and will make sure that my children know all about my amazing Grandpa.  Then I said I had a secret that I wanted to make sure he knew.  Something Mark and I have been planning for 4 years.  A baby.  His eyes lit up and his face got excited.  I told him that he couldn’t tell anyone because it was a secret and he smiled and gave me a look that said “well ok, I’ll try, but you know…I can’t make any promises”.  Then we laughed together.

On Sunday the whole family was there.  It was a really crowded room so I was so happy that I took the opportunity to say goodbye on Saturday.  Helps to be good at planning and of course we all know….well, I’m awesome at that.

I tried to talk to him as much as possible and hold his hand.  In his bed he has a teddy bear that I gave him years ago, Willy. It means the world to him (I’ll tell that story later).  In the afternoon in a break in conversation, he grabbed my hand, pulled me down and pointed to my face.  Then pointed to Willy (the bear) and stuck his hand on my chest.  Willy goes to me.  I gave him a huge kiss and said “I’ll take good care of him.”

As we were getting ready to leave, I knew this was it for me.  By the time I see him again he will be in a coma at the very least.  Most likely he will have already passed away.  It got kinda hard to say that last goodbye, and I couldn’t say “I’ll see you later”, but I put both hands on his face, looked him in the eyes, touched nose to nose and said “I love you Grandpa”.  He shook his head yes and I left.

I cannot think of a better way to let someone go.  I really can’t.  It almost seems like a story you read in a book.  Not real.  I have absolutely no regrets and will always know that my Grandpa knew I loved him to the very end.  My very last memories of him will be of him laughing and being a goofy smart ass like his first Granddaughter, Katrinka (That’s me guys.  It was his nickname for me.).

I feel like such a lucky person.  Seriously, how many of you out there still have all 4 grandparents at 34?  And who else gets to do what I just did?  I mean I know I’m the queen of planning, but even I was taken back at my powers here.  I feel like I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

Someone go get me a lotto ticket, a scale and a pregnancy test…

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12 Responses to “An absolutely perfect goodbye.”


  1. 1 Melissa C April 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    I’m so happy and glad that you got to say goodbye to your grandpa the way you wanted to. I wish I had had the same chance to do that. Will be thinking and praying for you and your family. Hugs

  2. 2 Heather April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Okay, so I’m sitting here bawling after having read your post…this is one of the most beautiful posts I’ve read in a LONG time. Yes, you *are* so lucky to have experienced this amazing kind of goodbye. I’m envious…my two awesome grandfathers passed away when I was 8 and 11 respectively, and the memories are already starting to fade. They both died unexpectedly, so I never got to say a proper goodbye, plus I was so young. I know you haven’t felt very lucky lately, to say the least, so I am THRILLED that you got to experience such beautiful moments with your grandfather. Okay…must stop crying now… 🙂

  3. 3 babysmiling April 27, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    It is so special that you could share that time with him, and for once say goodbye exactly right.

  4. 4 meg April 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I am so glad that you are approaching this in the way you are. It is still so very sad that you are having to say goodbye, but you are experiencing such tender heartfelt moments with your grandfather up till the very end. You will always remember those. You talk about your grandfather in the same way that I feel about my grandmother who is still alive. So I know how much you must love your grandfather. Thanks for sharing this story.

  5. 5 Angie April 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

    I am confused – are you pregnant now? Is that what the secret was?????

    Angie

  6. 6 riceroni April 27, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    sounds like the perfect goodbye, if there is such a thing. your grandfather sounds like an absolute sweetheart.

  7. 7 Jendeis April 28, 2009 at 7:25 am

    That’s so wonderful and I’m just crying buckets now. I’m so glad that you got to say goodbye to your grandpa and tell him how much you love him.

  8. 9 mkwewer April 28, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Sounds so perfect and I think he was lucky to have known you too.

  9. 10 kj @ Where my boys at? April 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    This is wonderful. Brought tears to my eyes.

  10. 11 brown-eyed-girl April 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful. You are so lucky to have had this chance to say goodbye.

  11. 12 Andie May 2, 2009 at 1:19 am

    I’m so glad that you were able to say the perfect goodbye to your Grandpa. I couldn’t help the tears.


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