I Said Goodbye To My Grandpa

I’m sitting on the steps outside my grandfather’s house. He passed away 2 hours ago. As much as I want to be practical and see it as a relief for him, I just can’t. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that 10 days back he was walking, eating, and chilling with us and now he’s gone.

I feel angry. He’s probably the only person I know who wanted to live to be a 100yrs old. Even on his last birthday, he was so positive about reaching that milestone. And I know 88 is a good enough age but it doesn’t feel fair.

It doesn’t feel fair that he had to suffer like this. He worked so hard to improve his health and his life, from being diabetic and obese to reversing diabetes. And yet, in his last few months, he had to deal with cancer, a weak heart, and failing lungs.

My grandfather has been one of my few idols. He grew up in his home village and after the loss of his father moved with his elder brother to Bombay to work. Since money was tight, he worked during the day and attended school at night. He lived with his brother and his wife and never forgot their kindness.

Me with my grandparents after voting for the first time

He did his master’s in law and MBA before starting his own business. From nothing, he built his company up to provide a cushy life for his family. His brother passed away far too young, leaving behind his wife and 3 kids. My grandfather took it upon himself to provide for them too. Sometimes providing them with even more than his own family, to make sure they never felt like they don’t have a father. He paid for their education and even their weddings – and never expected anything in return. (I only even know about this because my mum told me in passing)

I can’t remember my life where he wasn’t a part of it. I’ve grown up in his house – playing with my sister in the evening on the balcony waiting for him and dad to come back from work and greeting them cheerfully from the balcony. He’d sneak in chocolates and toffees every day and hide them, so he could give us treats without our mom finding out.

Childhood photo with him

My grandfather always had a special corner in his heart for me because I reminded him of his mother who he absolutely loved but didn’t get enough time with. He always made me feel special even when the world didn’t always make me feel that way. As a chubby kid, when people around me made fun of me – I always found a safe haven with my grandpa. Even when he was unwell and not fully there, many times he would ask specifically for me and it just made me realize that this is one relationship where without even trying that hard, I had something special. From my first salary at my first job (back in 2013), I bought him a watch to replace his old watch (that he had been using for years) and despite it getting loose for him in the last few years (and being gifted other watches by other family members), he still wore that same watch every time he went out. It wasn’t an expensive watch but he appreciated the sentiment behind it.

Posing for my brand

We haven’t always had the smoothest relationship. When I moved away from home, it disappointed him that I didn’t call very often (which I do wish I had). In my late 20s, he was disappointed that I didn’t get married. He was also a little disappointed that I chose to leave my well-paying job to try my hand at entrepreneurship. It did lead to a lot of friction in our relationship but this didn’t stop him from supporting me still.

Over the last 2 years, I tried to find more topics for us to talk about from football to the financial market to even watching his favourite Indian TV serials with him. I even made him pose for photos for my brand. Last week when he was in the ICU, his favourite football team, Machester United, had a match – I watched a small portion of it on the phone with him (he was too tired to watch the full match). It felt good to share that last real interaction with him.

Did he always do everything right? No. I don’t want it to seem like he was a saint. He did have his weaknesses. He over-indulged in drinking and smoking when my mother was younger which impacted their relationship for a long time. But the day he realized the ill effects his habits were having on my mom and her sister, he quit cold turkey and never looked back. He had a rough relationship with my grandmom. He wasn’t always the best husband to her but I think it was because they were a very incompatible couple. But to me and his other grandchildren – he was the best grandparent we could have asked for. He supported us, loved us, took an interest in our interests and was very content with just us interacting with him on a regular basis. He loved us with all our quirks.

My siblings and I, with him, during our last family trip

I am glad that I got to be home and spend quality time with him over the last few months. It is my birthday in one week, and I did hope that he’d be around for it. But life had other plans. My brother who is in Canada, unfortunately, did not even get to say his goodbyes and that breaks my heart.

I hope my grandpa rests in peace knowing that he was immensely loved and will be forever missed. I hope he knew what a big impact he had on all our lives. While the world may not know of all the amazing things he did, the many people whose lives he touched will forever hold him close in their hearts.

I love you always, Ajja.

My last photo with him taken a few months back
I’ll miss you a lot

PS: This post has been written over the last few days. If you know me, you know writing here is therapeutic for me which is why I’ve chosen to put this down here.

33 Comments Add yours

  1. RIP… I know it’s hard time for you but stay strongπŸ’ͺ

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Condolences πŸ™

    Like

  3. I’m glad you were there to say goodbye… I’m also glad you have such happy memories…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Juliette says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss and I can’t possibly imagine how hard it must be for you. It seems like your grandpa was a great person and the relationship you had with him was truly special, this post is a perfect testimony to that. May he rest in peace and I hope you’ll be gentle to yourself in these difficult times. Take care xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Tony T says:

    I’m glad you had the time that you did with your grandfather. I am sorry for your loss. I pray for peace in your life in his absence.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Katie says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Doer Mindset says:

    May his soul rest in peace!! Very sorry for your loss. This post is a very nice tribute for his memory.

    Like

  8. Nehal Jain says:

    This is so sad. You already recently suffered a different loss and now this. Your grandpa seems like an amazing person! I remember my own grandpa and i always had a special place in my heart for him. I don’t think he reciprocated to be honest, but he was a great grandfather.
    I hope you feel better soon. And that wherever your grandpa is, he’s happy. Your relationship with him is heart melting ❀️

    Like

  9. What a lovely tribute! Sending you lots of love and comfort πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

    Like

  10. Sarah Davis says:

    Peace to you and yours.

    Like

  11. nces13 says:

    I’m sorry for your loss

    Like

  12. BabyFunbo says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. May his soul rest in peace.

    Like

  13. β€œHe’d sneak in chocolates and toffees every day and hide them, so he could give us treats without our mom finding out.”
    This reminds me of my eldest bade papa. He left us in 2006 when I was just 5. We all family members respect and love him.❀️
    Your Ajja is with you. Utilise his teachings to establish your brands.

    Like

    1. Tamara Kulish from https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

      What a wonderful heartfelt testimony for your grandfather. So sorry for your and your family’s loss. πŸ™

      Like

  14. petespringerauthor says:

    So sorry for your loss, Moksha. None of us are saints, and your grandpa was no different. Still, he found many ways to connect with you and make a big difference in your life. Excellent tribute! I imagine the way you can best honor him is by following your dreams, which it sounds like he ultimately supported.

    Like

  15. oh Rue, I’m so sorry for your loss. The time shared is a testament of your love. His love is always with you! πŸ’—

    Like

  16. I’m so sorry for you loss. Sending prayers to you and your family

    Like

  17. Devangi says:

    May your grandpa rest in peace…
    In the post where you had mentioned your grandpa was declining in health, I had prayed and hoped that God wouldn’t take him away but unfortunately the world is not a wish granting factory. May God give you the strength to bear the loss of your loved one and get through these times of darkness….

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hilary Tan says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute to your grandfather is lovely. May he Rest In Peace πŸ¦‹

    Like

  19. ImpromtDude says:

    I’m terribly sorry for your loss. This post is beautiful! You will be in my thoughts!

    Like

  20. mylittlehawk says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family! I’m so so sorry for your loss πŸ˜” May he rest in peace 🀍

    Like

  21. Moksha, this is such a beautiful tribute and touches my heart. I had a similar relationship with my grandmother and to this day I thank God that she was placed in my life. Even though she’s not here anymore, I still feel her love and that’s such an amazing thing. I’m so, so glad you got to experience that with your grandfather in this lifetime. It’s so clear he loved you so much. Sending you so many hugs to you and your family and I’m thinking of you during this time. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

    Like

  22. My condolences to your family as well. May your grandfather’s spirit live on forever in you and your memories. Thank you for sharing some of them with us. He sounds like a wonderful grandfather!

    Like

  23. Aw I’m so sorry. He’ll always be with you though.

    Like

  24. bosssybabe says:

    Oh Gosh, I am clearly behind in my reading Moksha. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved grandfather. May the memories you have with him comfort you in the days, months and years to come. Thinking of you!

    Like

  25. Deepthy says:

    Aw I’m so sorry for your loss – sending heartfelt condolences. Your relationship with him sounds so pure and beautiful and this was a fitting tribute to a cherished life. Sending you much love and hugs during this time πŸ’

    Like

  26. Qonyike says:

    I’m sorry about your loss. I hope you feel better. May his beautiful soul rest in peace.

    Like

  27. Lani says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, dear. Take good care. ❀

    Like

  28. joyroses13 says:

    My heartfelt sympathies! πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™ Glad you had such a close bond with him, hold onto those memories!

    Like

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