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The Passing of my Grandfather

My grandfather passed away in his sleep last Thursday at the age of seventy.

I clearly remember the very last time I saw him. It was three weeks prior to his passing. He shook my hand, as he always did, and asked how I was doing. I only saw him for a brief moment but now that moment is burned into my memory.

The days following his passing were noticeably, and understandably, tough on my mom, grandma, and my aunts and uncles. It was the first time I had seen many of my relatives cry. I was so impressed by my grandmothers strength. At one point, when she started crying into my shoulder, she held back and said "look at me, crying like a little child".

In life, choose happiness. Reserve your sadness for the afterlife.

A strange feeling arises every now and then when I realize he's gone. For that brief moment, it doesn't feel real. Everything, from the wake to the funeral, felt surreal. I couldn't help but contemplate how one day, myself and all the people present will meet the same fate. Life felt animated, a picturesque moment in a film without a known duration. Thirty years? Ten years? Five months? Three weeks? Six days? One hour?

My other grandfather, on my dad's side, died when I was about nine years old. I remember going to his wake and being surrounded by people in black suits towering over me, mourning for a reason I didn't understand and obviously feeling something I didn't feel. I really didn't know him that well and my only other memory of him is of when we visited him in the hospital.

You never know what moment may be the very last you'll see someone, so it's important to treat every moment as if it were your, or their, last. Living that way makes you appreciate every moment of life, regardless of the situation. When we take life for granted we forget who we really are and how much those we love mean to us.

Death gives us the ultimate reason to celebrate life.

A little over a week ago I wrote about how every single one of us will die one day and why that means we should all choose happiness and growth in life.

Almost every day I remind myself of this fact and each time I do I seem to appreciate life a little bit more. It reminds me that I have no reason to be unhappy; no reason to be angry; no reason to be frustrated; no reason to be unmotivated. It pushes me to take action and do the things I've always wanted to do. It reminds me to appreciate family, friends, and most of all, myself. It reminds me that, as my Uncle Dan always says, "your health is your wealth" and that all the money and fame in the world is pointless if I don't have my health.

"Your health is your wealth."

Take care of your health.

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  1. Wow, Raam. I’m deeply sorry for your loss, but you made an eloquent and thoughtful post about it.

    I always go to the stoic/pantheist argument about death: we simply return to the Whole in a natural process. If it is part of nature, how can it harm us?

    Having had a couple near-death experiences, I know what it’s like. Afterward, I feel a massive shift in consciousness – like I really want to live my life to the fullest. That’s all we can do while we’re still here.

    • Thank you, Brett.

      I too have had some near-death experiences and I’ve felt the same massive shift in consciousness you describe. Constantly reminding myself of my inevitable demise helps me maintain a perspective that allows me to enjoy life day to day, no matter what I’m doing. I’m sure for some that would only make them depressed and less motivated to live, but it helps me immensely.

  2. Ah, sorry for your loss. I’ve been there once before when my grandma passed away 6 years ago at the age of 82. If there’s one thing I learned is to always leave a happy lasting impression to those your meet.

    Live long and prosper! :D/

    • Thank you, Roth.

      We should absolutely leave a happy impression on anyone, and everyone, we come in contact with — even those that make us angry or frustrated!

      Live long and in health! 🙂

  3. you are strong too. i would’ve been devastated. i’m glad you were with me last weekend. i know you didn’t need it but you had a should er to cry on. raam, you are a talented writer and i don’t think you give yourself enough credit for that.
    <3

Webmentions

  • Year in Review: 2009 December 26, 2009

    […] My grandfather passed away and I saw my family come closer together than ever before. The event made me realize how important it was to follow my dreams and make the most of this life. […]