Goodbye Grandpa Frank

Posted By on April 16, 2012

I walked in with Cameron, his maternal Grandfather laying on a slightly reclined bed, his eyes closed and mouth open. I had just arrived from Eugene.

The nurse gently touched his head and felt his pulse. They gave me a look that said, there’s not much time left.

They took Grandma out of the room.

Cameron and I were alone with Grandpa so I knelt by his bedside and said something like this between sobs.

Hello Grandpa Frank … Almost 12 years ago I knelt before you asking for your blessing to marry your grandson … thank you for giving it … Thank you for accepting me into your family.

Now I kneel before you to give you my blessing … May you have peace … May you have happiness … May you be free … Your name will forever live in our home and our hearts.

I will always remember your charisma … your humor … your courage … your laughter … and the bright tinkle in your eyes … Your stories that make you famous in my husband’s eye will live on.

As I spoke and cried these words, his arm fell off his chest to his side. His lungs took a deep breath and he swallowed three times. Cameron and I held his hand.

I wanted to sing him a song. As I have heard that the last sense to go for the dying are their hearing. The only song I could remember, was this, Cameron and I sang it together:

Merry have we met, and merry have we been;
Merry let us part, and merry meet again;
With our merry sing-song, and a fiddle dee dee
And a merry ding-dong, and a let us be!

Merry have we met, and merry have we been;
Merry let us part, and merry meet again.

Good bye Grandpa Frank, Good bye.

Cameron and I sat back in silence. The room felt still and peaceful. I couldn’t tell if Grandpa Frank was breathing anymore.  A moment later a nurse came in, felt his breath and said that he was gone. Tears welled in her eyes.

What a person he must have been to inspire his caretaker to mourn his passing.

I felt oddly joyful. You’re free Frank, I thought. Please continue to smile on us.

Haven cried for several days in anticipation, Cameron shed another single tear. Knowing his grandfather was raised Catholic, he took the tear and drew a cross on his grandfather’s forehead and kissed him. “I love you Grandpa.” He said. Then we left and told the family.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.


2 Responses to “Goodbye Grandpa Frank”

  1. Jeannie says:

    I love to hear the stories of your beautiful heart. What a gift you have experienced, and here you are passing the gift on in story form. At the end of faculty meetings, we share beautiful moments from our week. Would it be okay if I shared the part about the kindergarten farewell song?

    With Love and Gratitude,

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