Remembering a Life

William - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on September 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, legacy

In my opinion, I believe that when someone passes away, people often dwell in self-pity and forget about the memories that deceased has left behind. When my grandfather passed away two years ago it was no surprise to anyone. He had battled many health problems through his years, and in his late 80’s had began to give up. At that point he knew that the end was near. With that thought, he just continued on and lived out the remaining months as he had lived his entire life.

He was a jokester and would go to great lengths to make someone laugh. One time he tried to convince me that his farm was haunted. Of course I didn’t believe him but after some time had passed and my grandmother asked me to take out the garbage. While I was making the journey across the front lawn, my grandfather must have crept out the backdoor, and donning a white sheet he ran around the yard making ghost noises. It was a sense of adventure that he brought that always kept me intrigued.

At his funeral, family shared similar stories about his life. He seemed to have left an impression everywhere he went and with everyone he met. During his funeral I was sitting in the front pew with my immediate family and listened intently as the minister spoke. When asked if anyone would like to speak my grandpa’s brother stood and approached the front. When he stood at the podium and began his story, he started by telling us of a man who even before WWII had began was injured so severely he was discharged from the military. He shared moments in that man’s life that would make him what I call a hometown hero. This man would go to the homes of soldiers that were overseas and perform various handyman works that the wives were unable to perform. It wasn’t until the end of that story that I found out that man he was speaking of was my grandfather. He knew we did not know about my grandfather’s military career, it was something he never spoke of. He went on by telling us that my grandfather did not like to talk about his injury and felt as though he did not participate or fulfill his patriotic duty. I sat there with tears in my eyes and thought of what a proud man he was.

I will always remember my grandfather as a kind hearted gentle man, who in time of need would do anything to help anyone. He lived his life so greatly that at his funeral I left with a positive attitude. I wasn’t sad at his death because I was so overjoyed at his life. I hope when I pass I leave the same impression on others as he left on so many.