And just like that, the inevitable happens.
My grandfather, Donald Wayne Boyer, a man that was ravaged by cancer over the past year and was given only two to four months to live, succumbed to the disease today. My grandmother called me to tell me that my grandpa had gone to heaven, and I was the one to tell my mother.
I’m without tears at this moment because I’ve shed them all in anticipation of this day. Instead I feel strangely stoic. I prepared myself for the worst, and when it came I wasn’t surprised. I am sad, but a little relieved. He’s not in any pain anymore. He never will be.
Once we left Idaho this past week, my grandfather’s condition worsened drastically. He lost nearly all of his ability to function. Hospice was brought in, a hospital bed was set up, and he prepared to leave this world.
The two to four months became days, and the days became hours. I was talking to my mom on the phone about his condition when my grandmother beeped in and told me the news.
I feel incredibly blessed to have been there for his final cognitive days – to be a memory to him before his memories became fuzzy. I know now that heading out west this past week wasn’t in vain. As I expected, those were the last moment I ever spent with him.
The mourning process begins now. I’m having a hard time thinking of him in the past tense, but I feel that I’m ahead of the curve; a little guilty even for not feeling sadder. But, with him out of his misery, the only person I feel incredibly sad about is my grandmother, a woman who adored him and was adored by him – as she said on the phone, her soul mate of 48 years was gone.
She said to us: “I don’t know what I’m going to do without him.”
Regardless of what we plan to do without him, it won’t be the same. Life will go on, but it just won’t be the same without him in our lives.
Damn it, I already miss him.
I love you Grandpa. And I always will.