Friday was a hard day for me. My grandfather was laid to rest and I was unable to be there. When he passed the week before, my family asked me to write something to be read at his funeral. I meditated about it and the words flew out onto paper.
What I wrote, though, was not necessarily from me. It was written by my past self, the boy that never really existed except in certain peoples’ realities. I felt a slight detachment, though the memories of him and me together were fairly strong. I was not as close with him as I was to my grandma, who passed in 2003. I never got a chance to make my last peace with him as I last saw him in early 2012, but I wrote what I knew about him. I used some of the strongest memories I had to convey a message of sadness and hope. Emotionally, it was a way for me to make my peace with him.
I don’t regret that I was unable to attend the funeral because emotionally, I do not know if it was the right place for me to be. Living in this in between phase in my life has made interactions with my family difficult. I spoke with my family after the funeral while on break at work. All three of my cousins and their families had made it to Grandpa’s funeral. They were all so sad that I could not be there. I was sad too, but what set me off was them telling me what a great writer I was. That everyone loved my eulogy for my grandfather. While everyone loves getting praise about their work, hearing it about the greatness of a not-real person made it hard for me. I felt sadness that I could not tell my family about my new job here at Persephone while they were singing my praises. I slipped into the persona they all know me as while talking to them and it felt so wrong that I have been lying to them about the real me. It felt horrible that I am so far away from people to whom I was close to growing up, that I had loved being around. The shame of being my true self really began to make things clear for me
My grandfather valued life and honestly so much that he made sure to impart that philosophy on all us grandchildren. Knowing this about him really struck a hard chord Friday night. I realized that my continued path is something he would be proud of even if he didn’t understand. In a weird way, my life has newly begun again. With greater resolve, I plan on getting closer with my family again. I plan on showing them that they are right that I am a writer. They might not understand right away who I am, but they will all come around. I have noticed that people love you for you when you love yourself, when you love life. My grandfather loved life, and it loved him back.