“Call. I have news.”

My brother & I got that text Thursday around noon. I called my mom & got the whole story. My grandpa had a massive stroke. Doctors were saying it was very bad & he only had a few hours to a few days max.


I felt the cold sting of irony. I’ve been researching airlines & looking at my schedule. I wanted to fly out & spend Passover with them. Now, I wouldn’t have that chance.

Both of my parents assured us there was no service as the family would be sitting shiva instead. I told my dad I would try to fly out the following week. He told me that if I didn’t fly out now, it wouldn’t be necessary to come next week.

Double fuck.

So within 12 hours, I was on a flight from the Midwest to southern Florida to say goodbye to my grandpa. The stroke left him braindead. The doctors made sure didn’t have any pain, which is good. He was hooked up to machines. It was now a matter of time. I was hoping he could hold on until I could see him. Even if he couldn’t hear me, I wanted to pay my respects & tell him how much I loved him. He had already made plans to be cremated. So it really was now or never.

I found out after I landed he had passed that morning.

Sigh. I was too late. That was a dagger in my side.

My quick trip wouldn’t be a total loss. I was able to see my family & spend some time with my grieving grandma. She has dementia but was very lucid when I was there. She knew what had happened. It was hard to see her break down & weep for him. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. He was my world. He did everything for me.” I know, Grandma. And I’m sorry.

My second dagger was learning there WAS going to be a memorial service. Wait, what? Oh yeah, so they decided to have a “quick memorial just for the family.” It was this morning at 10. After I was already home.

I was crushed. I was told repeatedly there was no service, & because he was going to be cremated, the family was going to sit shiva instead. I find out about 15 hours before my flight about this change. So not only did I miss saying goodbye, I wouldn’t have a chance to do so at a service.

Once I was back on the plane & away from family, I lost it. Since then, I’ve been randomly crying & in a deep depression. I feel cheated out of an opportunity on top of losing my kick-ass grandfather. It doesn’t help that my mom is sending me pictures of everyone today. All of my family is there, laughing to celebrate his life.

Everyone but me.

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