My Grandpa (my Dad's Dad) died in 1990. He always called me "his namesake" because I was a Thomas Samuel Williams, just like him. He was mostly bed-ridden in the years before he died, but he was still talkative and always ready for a chat. He and Grandma, who passed on in 1997, had plenty of good stories, and I still remember the times before Grandpa got really sick when they still lived at their house on the Rye back beach.
I guess I'm gradually learning how to cope with loss. I was 16 when Grandpa died and I felt robbed at the time, however as I'm becoming an adult (I'm still getting there, I'm only 31!) I have been slowly coming to the understanding that everyone has a time. This year, on the anniversary of Grandma's birthday, I finally made a trip to the cemetery to visit both of them.
One part of me can't believe it has taken 15 years to visit (although I have stopped by in the meantime when I'm at the cemetery on other business, I have never dedicated time just for my Grandma and Grandpa). I would like to make the trip annually from now on - I wouldn't like to think that 2 of my most favorite people in the world were "out of sight, out of mind".
One thing I did learn on this visit was that my Grandma and Grandpa are not at the cemetery - I mean their remains are, but they are not. I don't have to go there to talk to them or think about them, but I want to, to be able to give them a little bit of my time. I was encouraged by part of what's on Grandpa's entry (from Thomas Campbell, "Hallowed Ground"):
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.