Inspiration isn’t quite right. Not to me, at least not yet. I’m sure his sons would say otherwise. But I didn’t know him well enough.
… even though we knew each other for 38 years.
I was working on it. Actively making the transition to friends, to knowing him as a person and not just blood relative.
My sorrow is part losing him, part losing what time we had to get to know each other, and part grieving for the many years we were absent from each others’ lives through no fault of our own.
That grief is next to resentment. Same reason.
But memory will keep him alive.
But when I see him there, in the casket, I can’t help but think of all the times I can remember from childhood. All of the stories told around me from more people who are gone. I think of how much I’ve heard, of how much I’ve forgotten, and then I realize how much I don’t know. How I did’t really know him as an adult. As a person. What was his favorite color? Favorite joke? Favorite food?
In the funeral home I hug his granddaughter and I remember being that little girl. That little girl in the funeral home, curious to the attention being paid to her because of losing her Grandpa, wondering why she’s seeing people she hasn’t seen in years (read: Since the last funeral.) That sad little girl, crying. Crying over her loss and crying because everyone else is. Crying because strangers are being so nice to her. Crying because she knows this will hurt for a long time in ways she hasn’t yet figured out.
That little girl not realizing how things would change from that point forward, yet somehow knowing she’ll have to do something about it.