Six minutes ago I got a message from my father.
At the time, I had my imaginary chefs hat on while preparing breakfast for the dogs I was taking care of for the week. I swear, it takes more time to prepare their meals than my own.
I glanced down when I saw my phone light up.
“Panna left the planet last night. He is free. I’m on phone with Dan now.”
I went from Gordon Ramsey to Forrest Gump as I raced to feed the dogs.
As soon as I could get my hands free, I responded.
I didn’t know what else to say.
I wanted to keep it positive so my dad didn’t think he just lost his father and his daughters mind in the same morning.
On my way down the stairs I left a voice memo to my friend, Lily, to update her on my ever changing, ridiculous life.
I then sent out a generic but sincere “I love you” text to my mom, dad, Uncle Dan, and sister, while I laid down on the couch. That’s where I am now, processing the last 10 minutes of my life.
I only got emotional towards the end of my voice memo to Lily, while thinking about what an incredible, funny, beautiful soul, just finished his time on Earth.
I’m surprised how I’m feeling, but it’s probably not why you think.
For years now, I was certain that at the news of my grandfathers inevitable passing, I would feel a certain type of way. Guilty.
Not the guilty feeling you get when you see someone has something in their teeth and you watch them walk away as your question your morals. I mean the guilt that stays with you for years.
Guilt for not calling more. Guilt for not making more of an effort to spend time with him. Guilt for not asking more questions about his extraordinary, inspiring life. Guilt, guilt, guilt.
So the fact that I don’t feel that emotion right now is beyond me.
If I could describe how I’m feeling right now, the first thing that would come to mind is tired if I’m being completely honest.
I also feel annoyed, but that’s because of a boy. When are boys not annoying though? They have the emotional intelligence of one of the dogs I’m watching after, that eats its own shit, tries to swallow rocks, and bumps into walls. 72% serious. Maybe I just need to start talking to different men. That’s besides the point.
The main feeling I have in regards to the passing of my grandfather is peace. Peace for his sake. He’s free, and I’m happy for him. His biggest fear was death, but I believe it to be a blessing for him. At 96 years old, he could only do so much more living. In fact, at that point it was more existing than living.
I feel gratitude. He was such a cool dude (my grandfather, not the boy I’m annoyed with) and so many of my talents I give him credit for. He was a standup comedian, voiceover actor, and followed his passions while bringing joy and laughter constantly to those around him.
I hope to follow in his footsteps, not his posture. Too soon to be making jokes? I think he would have laughed.
Lastly I feel relief. Not only for him as I mentioned before, but for myself! I spent so much time abroad worrying about my grandfather leaving this planet and me being swamped with guilt.
How ironic that my last moments by his side, I sang to him “Guilty” by Billy Holiday.
I don’t feel guilt. I feel growth.
I’ve come a long way. I know we all do the best we can and I am no exception to that. Yes, I wish I did do more with him, but there’s no point in feeling guilty. I’m worthy of feeling good and having a good life, guilt free, just as my grandfather would wish. So was he. So are you.
I’m happy that I give myself permission to witness my grandfather transition with ease, not guilt.
Rest in Paradise Leo De Lyon.
With love, always,