I’ve written this post a thousand times in my head. On the plane, in the airport, at the funeral and on the subway. And even still, I’m writing it now and I don’t know what I’m going to say. I can make it funny and tell you about the comedy of errors that befell me and my family in the hours after finding out my grandfather passed away this past Friday. Or I could tell you some heartbreakingly beautiful stories about the lessons I’ve learned from my grandparent’s 55 years of marriage.
I could probably write whole posts about how weird it felt to be sitting with my long-estranged parents in the same room together, playing Scrabble with all three of my little sisters. Or how gut-wrenching it was to hold my grandmother up while she yelled at a coffin, begging her dead husband to take care of their daughter, who we placed in the grave next to his, six years earlier. I could tell you what it’s like to look out at a group of senior citizens, open your mouth to deliver a eulogy and instead cry and snort into a microphone, causing your sister to dissolve into a fit of giggles. Except I would probably leave that out and just tell you how I proud I was of my 11 year-old sister’s much more dignified speech.
I want to tell you stories about my grandfather, and how he lived to be 90 and never lost his sense of wonder. How he always had a really bad pun and refused to say a bad word about anyone. Even when I wished he would. I want to tell you about the stories my grandmother told us about how she chased my grandfather for two years before he would settle down. And I want to burst with pride when I explain that my grandfather was a model of what it means to be a partner in marriage. I want to marvel at the beauty that my 90 year old Grandpa was an honest, hardworking man, free from the bigotry that plagued so many people of his generation.
I will do all these things. But for now, I’ll just remember my Grandpa. He was a gutteh neshumah – a good soul. I’ll miss him.