Crashing In and Pushing Off

This Monday, 15 August 2011, my amazing, wonderful, loving, funny, caring grandfather passed away.

It wasn’t entirely a shock, as his health had gone downhill recently, but he was always larger than life in my mind; I thought he would live forever. Witty, smart, fun, warm. The perfect patriarch, he supported his children and grandchildren, pushed us when we needed pushing, helped us up when we scraped our knees, gave us countless hugs, kisses, and smiles. I am so grateful that I was able to spend time with him when I was home for my bachelorette party two weekends ago. I cherish those hours we spent together.

I keep thinking of moments I had with him each smile and phrase leads to another memory, another moment spent together. More stories, more emotions. It’s funny how thoroughly my interactions with him are woven throughout my memories of childhood, growing up, and into adulthood. He was so present in the lives of his children and grandchildren. I grasp at these fragmented thoughts and memories, writing them down so I don’t forget.

He was so excited about our wedding, and I am incredibly sad that he will not be there to witness our love and joy that day. Always social and out-going, he loved big events and relished in time spent with family and friends. With just over a week until our wedding, his passing has left me with a rip-tide of emotions that I am still trying to process.

A deep mourning, of course. He has been a rock of stability in my life for so long that, while I feel a keen sense of loss and a quiet, persistent sorrow, I also feel that the part of my life and heart that he occupied is still full, still present. I know that he will always be there.

Guilt, that I will be celebrating and happy when he is not there to join in. Guilt that my family has to continue dealing with the hassles of the wedding, when they should be focusing on family, and him.

Anger, that God called him away from us, but also acceptance and understanding that it was his time to go.

Blessed, because he was so involved in my life. Blessed, for all of the time I was able to spend with him. Blessed. Blessed and loved.

There are more, of course, but I do not care to try to examine or understand them. I just know they are present, when he is not.

He would, of course, dislike our sadness. If he were here, he would say something funny a joke, or a witty remark to lighten the mood and get us to smile. So, a few memories of him to make me smile:

  • Bookar Park, and other nicknames
  • Him, mowing the lawn in his swim trunks, always so tan from the summer sun
  • Him, walking over every morning to take our dog out
  • Him, eating corn on the cob outside by the fireplace
  • His hands helping me find strawberries and tomatoes from the container garden
  • Him, showing me how to use his old typewriter in the basement
  • All of his baseball caps
  • “Of course you do, my dearie”
  • Him, singing with his buddies at our Christmas parties
  • Him, dressing up as Santa Claus when we were little
  • Him, always asking me to try lutefisk at our gatherings
  • His love for Grandma
  • His love of dogs
  • His love for me

When we were little, we would love swimming in their pool. They filled it with icy-cold creekwater, so in the early summer the pool would be freezing. My sister, cousins and I would stand at the water’s edge, dipping our toes in, not wanting to take that first dunk.

He would walk up behind us, saying “You have to do it like this. You just crash in…” and he would plunge in backwards with abandon, “and push off!” We always shrieked with laughter, and followed suit.

I love using that phrase now, because to me, he wasn’t just teaching us how to brave the cold water. He was encouraging us to pursue things we love with no reservations, to plunge in without constantly worrying, to embrace things that might make us uncomfortable or that were out of our realm of understanding, to make our mark on the world. To crash in, and push off.

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Jag älskar dig, Morfar.

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BLOGGER

Mrs. Candy Apple

Location:
Princeton Junction, NJ/ Seattle, WA
Wedding Date:
August 2011
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  1. Member
    ImDaCat 179 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:50 am

    My condolences, Candy Apple. I’m sure your Grandpa will be with you in spirit on your wedding day.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Sunshine, Guest @ 9:00 am

    Let me start with this story touched my heart in every way possible. I sat here and balled my eyes out thinking about my grandpa as well. I also lost my grandfather right before my wedding and I was devistated. I cried after the wedding for my grandfather because he was the best man in the world and I loved him dearly. I miss him everyday and he has been gone for over two years now. His birthday just passed and there isnt a day that goes by where I dont think of him. Please email me if you ever need to talk because I will be here for you. Remember that your grandpa will be at your wedding in spirit and he is very proud of you.

  3. Member
    MrsSl82be 9010 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 9:02 am

    So sorry Candy Apple. We lost my Grandma the year before my wedding, and it was tough. We always thought she would live forever as well. ((HUGS))

  4. Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:03 am

    I’m sorry for your loss, CA. Your family is in our hearts and prayers.

  5. Member
    texas 55 posts, Worker bee @ 9:14 am

    Prayers from Pittsburgh for you and your family Candy Apple. From the sounds of it though, rest assured he will be with you on your wedding day…he wouldn’t miss it for the world I am sure. He sounds like he was an amazing man.
    Hang in there!

  6. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 9:27 am

    So sorry for your loss Candy Apple, your family will be in my thoughts. Your grandfather sounds like he was an amazing man who will always be with you, especially on your wedding day.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    smores, Guest @ 9:38 am

    I”m so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was everyting a granfather should be! I’m sending thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  8. Member
    cafegirl 1021 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:45 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa Candy Apple. It sounds like he was the perfect grandpa! Grandpas are so special. He will be there in spirit on your special day, smiling the whole time.

    The picture of him as Santa made me cry.

    I know yours is a very recent loss, but one thing we did at our wedding was to set out photos of our grandparents and lit a candle. It made us feel they were there even though they’ve passed away.

  9. Member
    firebugj16 113 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:47 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your grandpa will be with you on your wedding day, looking over you and your husband, your families, and your love. hugs.

  10. Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 9:52 am

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers Candy Apple.

  11. Member
    jboltz19 654 posts, Busy bee @ 9:56 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandpa just over a year ago and I know exactly how you feel. I never knew my Dad’s parents but my Mom’s were around my entire childhood and I am very close to them.

    I felt that a passage in our programs was not enough for me to honor my Grandpa who I so hoped would see my wedding day. As such, I am sewing his lucky petosky stone (on loan from my Mom) to my bouquet stem the day of my wedding as a way to have him close to me! That way – although I know all 3 of my grandparents will be watching over FI and I on our big day I’ll also have a constant reminder right there in my hand.

  12. Member
    broadwaygal 67 posts, Worker bee @ 9:58 am

    My Condolences. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Unfortunately, my Fiance and I are going through the exact same thing. My Fiance’s grandfather passed away suddenly last week, with our wedding being just 1 week away now. It is devastating and the myriad of emotions makes everything harder to deal with.

    We have decided that in lieu of flowers for the guys, we will be having them wear Harley Davidson pins with wings in memory of his grandfather, who loved his bike almost as much as his family. It’s a small thing, but very meaningful to us.

    Know that you are not alone and that your grandfather will be with you and yours celebrating the wedding.

  13. Member
    shirasagi 899 posts, Busy bee @ 10:04 am

    The image of your grandfather smiling and jumping into an icy cold pool just made me smile and simultaneously a little teary-eyed. Such sweet memories.

  14. Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:16 am

    Oh Candy Apple – this hits so close to home and I’m in tears over your loss as well as my own. We lost my grandma on Monday the 8th and I share all of your feelings. I wish you and your family much strength during this time.

  15. Member
    CurlyRN 355 posts, Helper bee @ 11:03 am

    It sounds like he was a remarkable man and your loving memories of him will carry you through your most wonderful day. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story, I too will always try to crash and then push away! Hugs.

  16. Member
    tracylesq 566 posts, Busy bee @ 11:06 am

    So very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Hoping your memories bring you comfort and joy during this difficult time.

  17. Member
    ookbob 327 posts, Helper bee @ 11:40 am

    Miss CA, my heart breaks for you and your family! He sounds like he was an amazing man and role model, you were definitely blessed to have someone like him in your life. Praying for you and your family

  18. Member
    JuneBride2012 536 posts, Busy bee @ 11:43 am

    My condolences, Candy Apple. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. Member
    ticket 501 posts, Busy bee @ 11:59 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  20. Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:36 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Candy Apple, and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories of your grandpa, and I’m so glad you have these to hold onto.

  21. Member
    doily 1720 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:39 pm

    I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss Candy Apple. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  22. Member
    ladyfingers 1257 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:24 pm

    This is beautiful, and I’m so sorry for your loss :(

  23. Member
    msseal 1179 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:58 pm

    Love you, CA. You and your family are absolutely in my thoughts and prayers…and I thank you and your wonderful grandfather for that timeless advice—it’s so true and we all need to be reminded to just crash in and push off sometimes ;) May he rest in peace and watch over you with a warm smile on wedding day ;) xoxo

  24. Member
    gazelle 1019 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:24 pm

    Miss CA, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandfather. Big hugs, you and your family are in my thoughts.

  25. Member
    lisamarieloves 19 posts, Newbee @ 4:49 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your post about your grandfather was beautifully written.

  26. Member
    stephbonthego 710 posts, Busy bee @ 5:00 pm

    I am so sorry, Candy Apple. Nothing can replace the special people in our lives but time helps. Prayers and good thoughts for you and your family.

  27. Member
    earrings 2611 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:47 pm

    So sorry for your loss. *hugs*

  28. Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:32 pm

    Oh, Candy Apple! I read this earlier today… so hard not to cry at work. Your grandfather’s touching words of wisdom are going to stick with me too. Lots of bee hugs and I’m thinking of you today and this weekend.

  29. Member
    panther 1112 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:52 pm

    Oh, honey. I’m so sorry.

  30. Member
    teacup 631 posts, Busy bee @ 12:09 am

    Oh, love. Thank you for sharing this incredibly personal post. Sending hugs and warm thoughts to you and your family.

  31. Member
    candy apple 1877 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:24 am

    Thank you, everyone, for your kind and overwhelming responses. I cried reading them, and was so grateful for the support of this community. All of your comments were incredibly thoughtful.

    My heart goes out to everyone who has experienced, or is currently experiencing, this type of pain. While I grieve, it is a comfort knowing that I am not alone in my grief. Thank you.

  32. Member
    misssparkler 488 posts, Helper bee @ 1:41 pm

    I’m so sorry, CA. Your grandpa sounds like he was an amazing guy. I loved learning a little bit about him in your post. Thinking of you and your family.

  33. Member
    TamJam 211 posts, Helper bee @ 1:46 am

    So sorry for your loss. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  34. Member
    kettle 926 posts, Busy bee @ 7:05 am

    This post brought tears to my eyes. It makes me wish I was closer with my grandfather. I know you’ll be thinking of him during your wedding and I pray it’s only happy thoughts.

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