My grandfather died yesterday.
We’d gotten a call that he was not doing well, and so we raced up to the hospital facility where he was staying. I walked into the main hallway just as paramedics were wheeling my grandfather out, still alive and looking agitated. They rushed by so quick I didn’t have a chance to say anything to him; he didn’t even know I was there.
The paramedics took him to the emergency room, which is across the street from the facility. When I got there I was escorted to a hallway inside the ER, where the head nurse told me that my grandfather had suffered cardiac arrest and that doctors were trying to revive him.
After about 20 minutes, a doctor came into the waiting room where I was along with my mother and a kind lady who was the hospital’s chaplain. The doctor was incredibly impersonal, and spoke like he was reciting a grocery list: “He suffered cardiac arrest and we were able to revive him, but then he suffered another one. He died at 9:33.” And he walked out. No “I’m sorry for your loss.” Nothing. Even the chaplain said that the doctor “had no bedside manner.”
I know he was sick. He’d turned 89 just last week; I know he wasn’t immortal. But he was everything to me, and I honestly cannot envision how my life will take shape or evolve without his presence within it. I’ve lost too many family members already; you’d think I’d know how to deal with this kind of thing by now. But this time I literally do not know how to grieve, how to act, what to feel, and certainly not how to move on. I’m lost. I loved the man.