Grandad

5th March 2021

I think my second grandad died today. My first grandad to die did so in 2013. It was the first time anyone I knew had died. Lots of people have died since then, including possibly my grandad. Yesterday I ordered curtain poles and ate leftovers and watched Life Aquatic with my mum. Today her dad might have died. This morning I did things like feed the dogs with food that didn’t smell as bad as some of their other food does, and help my dad get dressed. I also washed my face, finished a series, and watched 2 comedy specials. There are workmen in the house finishing my sister’s bedroom, and I don’t want them to leave. Whilst they’re here, it feels like my house can kind of ignore what’s going on because there’s strangers in. As soon as they leave it’s going to be the thing between all of us that we either have to wait about or openly admit that we want to ignore it to each other, and I don’t want that. I saw my mum cry this morning when she came back from the hospital, and it didn’t scare me like I thought it would. I don’t know if that’s good or not. The last time I saw my grandad was perhaps a week or two ago. When I saw him I hugged him very tightly even though we’re not supposed to, and I think I had a sense that it was important I do that then, which makes me feel weird now. I feel sad but mostly nervous, because we don’t actually know what’s happening. I emailed one of my teachers that I thought was going to give me a seminar today at 2 telling him that I’d had a serious family thing happen in my family and would it be okay if I turned off my camera and stayed silent for the class because I was shaken up. He replied telling me there was no seminar today, that it was actually next week, and didn’t even reference what I’d mentioned in my message to him, which annoyed and upset me. My dad currently has his arm in a sling so I think he feels worse because he can’t do things for my mum. It’ll be up to me to do all these things now, like dress my dad and look after my mum because my sister is young(er than me) and avoidant of responsibility. She works sometimes and is going back to university soon – next week I think. I’m worried about the rest of my family, like Alicia who hasn’t spoken to me for weeks, and my Auntie who is still in the messy proceedings of her divorce. I’m worried about Marcus who saw Grandad more than any of us and is the only male grandchild. I wonder if ******** will come to the funeral, if it’s soon, if he’s died. I’m worried about Nanna. I don’t want to speak at the funeral and I’m worried people will ask me to and I don’t want to say no and bring up petulant topics like anxiety and stage fright when death is the key feature. I’m writing this partly to just offload, but also because I really hope he isn’t dead. I want to be able to look back at this in a future where my other grandad isn’t dead. I really hope he isn’t dead. I don’t know what I’m going to do without any grandfathers, I’ve never known what that’s like. I don’t want to see what my mum is like with a dead father. I don’t want my parents to have dead fathers. I don’t want to have to finish my university degree in a few months without him, I don’t want to move to New York and never take him to Little Italy. I don’t want Nanna to live by herself, I don’t want cards from them with only her name at the bottom, I don’t want to never argue with him again or ask for a recipe again or dream about one day walking into their home and speaking Italian to him. I don’t want all those possibilities to die. I want to change my name to add Delfino and show him, I want him to read more of my writing, I want him to ask me to help write his autobiography again because he did ask me to do that once. I’m not sure if he remembers. I love him so much I don’t want him to go and I don’t want my family to be sad without him. I don’t want his life to be over, there’s still so many things I’m sure he never told us and always wanted to. He’s wanted to tell us. He might still not be dead. I can hear the workmen’s radio and it’s confusing that these men are in a house of anxiety and mourning and I bet they don’t know. I haven’t seen my mum since this morning, I wonder what she’ll be like now if I go down. This morning she seemed to be making peace with the fact that he was dying and that’s as good as the fact he’s already dead. We still don’t know. I’ve just remembered I haven’t eaten yet today.

14th March 2021

My grandad died today.

At about 6:30 in the morning. It’s Mother’s Day today, and my mum and my auntie were with him. It didn’t end nicely, he was unhappy for a long time. My mum came in and wailed in my dad’s arms, I passed her on the drive whilst I was taking the kitchen bin out. I didn’t cry about it until I hugged my mum. Two of my favourite podcasts did a collaboration together for Comic Relief today – I’ve actually fallen in love with one of the podcast hosts during this deathly period. It’s weird that he released an episode on the day my Grandad died. I feel sort of traumatically bonded to him, he makes me feel anxious because I have used him for comfort throughout all the anxiety I’ve felt during this time. A bit unfair on him really. One of the other podcast hosts also released a special that I bought and watched on the Friday this all began. It all feels very connected and symmetrical. It feels like they’ve released these things for me. I’m really anxious about the funeral. I can’t believe I’ve just written about a fucking podcast host, fucking despicable. I’m terrified of this all being over – of life carrying on normally without him, and yet it’s all I want. I know people are going to want me to write and speak at the funeral and I don’t know what to do, I’m frightened of something that intense. My mum thinks my nanna is going to die soon from the degeneration of heartbreak. All the rest of us are eating dinner together tonight, even though that’s technically against the law. I don’t really know how to act. A big part of me has been waiting this whole time for him to end up walking out of the hospital completely fine, because that’s what has happened all the other times. In his hometown in Italy they will post photos of him around the streets with his birthdate and death date underneath. I wonder if I will remember this date for the rest of my life. I wonder if Grandad would like the new curtains I put up in my bedroom whilst he was in hospital. He wouldn’t like my rug and that makes me laugh. I haven’t been able to listen to sad music since that Friday, I wonder when I will feel okay doing that again. He never got to see me have a partner, or a degree, or curtains in my bedroom. The doctor who helped my Grandad die at the end was called Gabriel and when my mum told me that I laughed and no one else did. I think I’m going mad.

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