Great-Grandpa

I wrote this three years ago while doing a school assignment.  Today I pulled it out again to use as part of another assignment.  Perhaps it will ring true for someone else out there.  My great-grandmother has passed on now as well, when I was 18.  I miss her even more than I missed Great-Grandpa because I had known her longer and better.  Thing is, though, I miss all the things I don’t remember very well about Great-Grandpa when other people in the family talk about him.  Still, I did know him, even if only a short time, and that’s reason to be thankful.

When Great-Grandpa Died

When Grandpa died,
he was the first of my friends to go.
I had encountered death in stories first,
but never lost a relation.
Not that I’d known so well.

There had been Great-Great-Grandma Searl, of course,
but I had barely known her really.
I only vaguely remember when
she wasn’t at Great-Grandma’s anymore.
I didn’t know when she went.
I didn’t hear.

Grandpa was another story,
as I was rising ten.
We saw him cold in the casket
and didn’t know what to think,
only that Mommy was crying.

We missed him when, the day before,
we came to stay the night.
Grandma, yes, but Grandpa, no,
it didn’t seem quite right.
That chair of his was empty now,
the atmosphere so still,
I think we felt it very well,
though little understood.

My father gave the funeral speech,
I heard ‘twas Grandpa’s wish.
He said many things I did not know.
Tissues crumpled, I watched the floor.
My black dress was a bit too tight;
my uncles were quite strange.
The things I did remember,
just didn’t feel the same.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Growing Up, My Family, Poetry/Writings

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