How She Says Goodbye

Punkin Pie wrote a remembrance for her granddad to fulfill an assignment to write a eulogy for her English class.  It was sheer serendipity that she landed that assignment when she did, and while her poem isn’t quite a eulogy – Granddad hasn’t passed yet – I think that she did a stunning job with it.

I asked for and received permission to share it with you.  Get a tissue.


My father’s father
has never been my closest relative.
An old man, old when I met him,
stooped over, with a strange shuffling walk,
he ate his food like a bird
and left a third on his plate
and a third in his napkin
and I always wondered why
if he didn’t have to eat
did I?

My father’s father
has always been a quiet man
shadowed by my grandmother’s personality
and vibrancy.
He was content to sit in the corner of my mind,

My father’s father
always smelled of must;
of the mold, mothballs, and age that constantly surrounded him,
and when I would hug him goodbye,
he would always pat me on the bum,
too old to know
that I was too old
for the affections one would give a child.

My father’s father
has never been a big man in my life.
Eighty when I met him,
stooped over,
white hair,
and the winter he burned his leg
pouring boiling water on the roof to melt the ice
and I, knowing now how it must have hurt, hugged it better
before saying goodbye.

My father’s father
has come to every one of my concerts
and performances
from small recitals
to huge musicals.

My father’s father
has been diagnosed with cancer.
The doctors found it in his bladder a few weeks ago
and he will go into chemotherapy on
October sixth
Two thousand and thirteen.

Daddy says
he will never feel good again
after we see him for dinner tomorrow night.

Mommy says
the chemo will likely kill him;
she’s seen it happen
with her mother
and her grandmother.

My father’s father
was making printouts,
to teach my scatterbrained grandmother
how to use the printer when he’s gone,
because he knows he’s going,
however much we who are left behind
cloud our minds with treatment options
and medical procedures.

There is no cure for age,
but to accept the turning page
with grace
and dignity
and love.



Filed under admiration, compassion and connection, family matters, Home and Family, love notes, memorials, on death and dying, Parenting, remembering, this is NOT a drill, Worries and Anxieties

6 responses to “How She Says Goodbye

  1. nhfalcon

    Wow. Just… wow. Brilliant. Talented. Poignant. Profound.

  2. Rowan

    Oh my! I am so touched. Words cannot describe the depths this reached. Thank you for sharing and her for being willing to let you share this with us.

  3. Carson

    Wow!!! Dark assignment but touching response!

  4. Jennifer

    That’s beautiful. Wow.

  5. She’s a lovely one, that girl.

  6. This is really beautiful. What a lovely girl your oldest is. I’m very sorry for your family’s loss.

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