Saturday, April 27, 2013

Death ends a life, not a relationship

Today, one of best friends' grandfather passed away. I did not know him at all, but for some reason his passing really affected me. Not because of any personal connection [although I admire his being a World War II vet as well as a graphic artist and photographer] but because of the recalling of my past through his passing. I do not often consciously think about my relatives who have passed away [I have lost four grandparents in the past two years] but when a friend is going through the same thing I endured in the past, it brings back the vivid memories of hugs from strangers, continuous streams of food baskets, and tears shed in your pillow at night when you have dreams of the deceased relatives talking to you as if nothing ever happened.
 It seems like death is the end-all of end-alls but it isn't. I still feel the aura of my grandmother when I wear her fabulous vintage jewelry or eat her favorite foods from her famous recipe book. I still can hear my great grandfather laugh when I think of his favorite little songs or his silly anecdotes about my great grandmother. I still have a relationship with my deceased family members, and I hope my friend does as well. It helps get through days of grief. As one of my favorite authors, Mitch Albom [Tuesdays with Morrie, For One More Day, Have a Little Faith]  once said, "Death ends a life, not a relationship."
My great-grandparents Ida and Nathan Ross [Gigi and Papa]. They were two of the most humble, intelligent, and loving people I knew. They had children at a young age, so they served a grandparent role in my life.
My grandparents Louis and Ralph Behm [Grandma and Grandpa]. They were both antique dealers as a side job (my grandpa was an orthodontist) and loved to play dominoes and read with me. My grandpa is the biggest inspiration for me to do well in school. He is recovering from a stroke, but I still get to see him whenever I can. 

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