‘Til Death Do Us Part | Teen Ink

‘Til Death Do Us Part

October 29, 2018
By mem228 DIAMOND, Attleboro, Massachusetts
mem228 DIAMOND, Attleboro, Massachusetts
80 articles 5 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

I hug a pillow tightly to my chest as if it can protect me from anything coming my way. Tears run silently down my cheeks, but, sitting stiller than I ever have before, I barely bother to wipe them away. The only part of me that moves is my thoughts, as I send prayers up to God and hope that He will answer me. When his time comes, bring him to Heaven, Lord. Bring him eternal peace.
I have watched sickness enervate my grandpa’s health for months now. He has transformed from a man with passionate eyes into a man whose eyes desperately grasp at any shards of life left within his body. Hope has glimmered dimly on certain days, days when he looks better and seems all right. Now, though, I know that he is never again going to improve. The end is near.

I am currently sitting with my grandma in the living room of my grandparents’ one-story home. My grandma has put a baby monitor in the room where my grandpa rests to make sure she can always hear if he needs something, though right now it is my aunt’s voice drifting through the receiver. Years seem to pass while my aunt stays in there, but eventually, she joins us in the living room.

“You can go in to see him,” my aunt tells me.
My heart has never beaten faster. I have no idea what to expect when I go into the room. Never before have I seen someone who is close to passing or who has already passed away. The walk down the hallway seems far too long, yet somehow also far too short. My legs push me forward, and eventually, I reach the threshold of the doorway, my stomach in my throat. I somehow find the strength to walk into the room. My logic lets me know that I am looking at my grandpa, but my emotion tells me that this is no longer the man I once knew. Hooked up to needles and tubes, he lies recumbent on the bed, nearly in the fetal position. Those once-energetic eyes of his look at something beyond this world but do not appear to see anything there. My mom and dad are also in the room near the bed, but they leave soon after I arrive, giving me time alone with my grandpa.
I do not know what to do. Nothing I have ever learned in school has prepared me for this.
I see a chair close to the bed; I sit there for as long as I can bear, gazing silently at the man who has always encouraged me. I remember all the times my younger self refused to hug him back because I did not like such gestures of affection. I remember all the times I thought going over my grandparents’ house was boring. I remember all the times my grandpa asked what book I was reading or how my life was going. I remember all these times, but I also forget them, because the only moment that matters is this one.

Deciding that I cannot stay in this chair any longer, I get up to leave. Looking at my beloved grandfather, I take his wrinkled, shriveled hand in mine, and for the first time ever in my life, I say, “I love you, Grandpa.”
Despite everything - his inability to do anything at all for himself, the fact that I am not even sure if he can understand what I say - his eyes move to meet mine, and his lips raise to form a smile. Tears flood my own eyes. Before the dam breaks, I gently release his hand and step back into the hallway. This is the last time I ever get to see my grandfather alive. I am in the car on the way home from a volleyball tournament a few days later when I learn that he has died.

I have learned that death does not discriminate in its work. It takes people far before others were ready to let them go, yet death has also taught me the power of opportunity. Any particular day is never a guarantee, but God still allowed me the chance to tell my grandpa that he was loved before he passed on to whatever lies in store after death. For this, I will be forever grateful. Death is not the end; I believe this, and I will not let go of the hope I hold that God has answered my prayers and called my grandpa home into His arms. I believe that my grandpa is still with me in so many ways, though. The car I drive every day to school once belonged to him, and all I can hope is that I honor the good life he lived with the choices I make. May one day we meet again, Grandpa.

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