Photo by Oliver Quinlan

Should I feel sad that my grandfather died? Should I cry? Should I wish that I had visited him before he died?

My grandfather died last Thursday at 8:30 PM. I knew as soon as the phone rang that it was “the call” because no one calls that late at night. So, I clambered down the stairs and went to my parents’ room to see my mom talking on the phone, and all she did was nod her head at me in confirmation.

After she hung up, she asked me if I was okay, and I was. I was perfectly fine. I didn’t feel the sting of grief or any type of feeling that resembled sadness; but, I still cried.

I didn’t know if I was crying because I felt guilty for not being sad or because I knew my dad was going to be upset or because it was expected of me. But I knew why I didn’t want to cry.

Without going into too much detail, my grandfather was not a good man. He was a terrible father and a bad grandfather. He was not a nice person, and I had no type of relationship with him. I don’t think I even loved him. So, when I heard that he had died, I wasn’t sad. My immediate reaction was, “At least Dad doesn’t have to take care of him anymore.”

I feel like this terrible person who has no soul, but I know that I am justified in my antipathy.

My dad was upset, but I don’t think it’s because his dad died. I think my dad is upset because he doesn’t feel like he did enough for my grandfather. That maybe he didn’t do enough because his personal feelings for his father got in the way of him getting the treatment for him that could have saved him.

But he did do everything he could have. He fought with the lazy doctors, he did research to find the best rehabilitation facilities, and he visited him as often as he could. My dad did every possible thing within his power to keep my grandfather alive and, toward the end, keep him comfortable.

Thursday was a hard day, but it wasn’t because I no longer have my grandfather because I never really felt like I had one to begin with. Thursday was a hard day because of the feelings that weren’t there.

God be with me.