My heart is heavy, and the world seems a bit darker because, today, we laid our Pappy to rest. The whole day has seemed unreal, as if this was someone else’s life playing out in front of me, as if this wasn’t my Pappy that had passed away, as if he was going to sit up and say, “Gotcha!” and tell us that he was okay. Instead, I looked on as my heart, and the hearts of my loved ones, of all those who loved him so much, broke into pieces. I watched my mom say her last goodbye to her dad, I watched my uncles say theirs too. I watched my grandma, my siblings, my cousins, my aunts, and my relatives, his sisters, brother, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends, lay their hands on his and kiss his cheeks as tears fell from their eyes. And when my turn came, when I laid my hand, and Max’s sleeping one, on his arm for the last time, I thought, “Surely this cannot be real…”

Because when my mom first told me that my grandpa was sick, I couldn’t quite grasp it then. And when she told me the severity of it, I still didn’t catch her words just right; they fell from my palms. And when she told me he was declining fast, I thought, “He will pull through…because I’m coming to see him, and there is just no way we could lose our Pappy, there is just no way that we would have to say goodbye.” I never could believe them when they told me there was nothing more to be done. I thought God would carry him through to a miracle. But my grandpa’s time had come, and his miracle meant heaven above, so God took him home…

But even in the midst of the overwhelming grief, we all knew he was still there with us, ushering us through this difficult day. Every little thing that went awry, I heard my loved ones say, “There’s Pappy, playing his tricks.” And when we were all in tears, celebrating the slideshow of his life, admiring pictures of countless memories, the power went out in the funeral home, and the first thing someone said was, “There’s Pappy.” And someone else, “Telling us no more crying.” So instead, we will live and love and laugh, just as he did. We will hold our loved ones close, and cherish every moment. We will keep his memory alive by celebrating his life.

Pappy, I know your final days were filled with pain, but I also know they were filled with God and love too. I know, without a doubt, that you are smiling in the clouds, dancing in the sky, making all the angels in the choir laugh through their songs. And even though I wish you were here to make us laugh again, I know, without a doubt, that now you are free.

I love you so much Pappy. You will be dearly missed.


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