March 2, 2004

I have to leave for Akron tonight after work to go to my grandfather's funeral. He's had a few heart attacks before, and a stroke a few years ago, and he was about 80, so in a way I've kinda been expecting this for a while.

It's odd, though. When Grandpa Sullivan died I was still a kid and it didn't really sink in until a few days later. I was old enough that I should have known more intuitively, but he was the first person whose death I was around for. The whole missing-the-person-who's-gone part didn't happen until well after the funeral, and if I remember right it hit me one night as I was trying to get to sleep. Apparently my subconcious enjoyed fucking with me even back then.

When J.B., my stepfather's father, died I had a slightly more grown-up version of what happened with Grandpa S., and it was at the funeral. He'd had cancer, but I was away at college by that time so I didn't really see too much of it. I miss the cranky old bastard.

Grandma Sullivan died about four years ago (it'll be four on St. Patrick's Day) after a cancer relapse. She'd been sick a couple times, but usually came out more-or-less OK in the end, so when I went back to Akron to see her in the hospice it had an effect on me. She was drugged out of her mind, and she'd lost a lot of weight. That was when all the sadness hit, really. The viewing and funeral were (relatively speaking) easy. A couple of the holy rollers in the family shot me a dirty look because I wasn't tearing my hair out and wailing in my grief but I didn't give a damn, to be honest.

Now with Grandpa Fleshman gone, I'm not really feeling much of anything as yet. I think part of it is that he really never came back completely from the stroke; the guy who was my grandfather has been gone, in a way, since then. I'm sure that will change once I get to Ohio and see everybody, but right now I just have a kind of resigned feeling about it.

I just hope Grandma Fleshman's doing OK.

March 1, 2004March 4, 2004