We lost my little Grampa today. 91 years he spent on this earth, doing everything he possibly could to make the lives of those he loved better. 91 years of being the most selfless person I’ve ever met, giving everything of himself so that his family could be happy and safe. I’ve never known a more generous and loving person, and I could not be more proud of him, and I could not be more proud to be his blood.
His favorite thing to say to me was ‘oh babe, I’m so proud of you I could just burst’. He always wished he could do more, provide more, take all pain and problems away from everyone that he loved. I’m so lucky. We are all so lucky that we got to have him. He made it 91 years without disease, without cancer, without dementia…not so much as a hospital visit all the way through the end. He didn’t want anything but Oreos and milk the past few months, until he stopped eating even those a couple of weeks ago. Unless there was gravy. He would never pass up the gravy.
Once you’ve experienced one severe loss, you try to mentally prepare yourself for any that you know are going to come eventually. I’ve been trying to mentally prepare for this one for about 16 years, more so in the past few months as he declined to a frail 72 pounds couldn’t muster the strength to even venture outside the house. But no matter the preparation, there is nothing that stops a heart from breaking. The phone call comes and you clutch your chest with one hand and your stomach with the other, trying to keep your heart and lungs from exploding out of you. You can’t breathe or speak, just sob until your body has nothing left to express. When you slowly emerge from the haze you sit in silence for awhile. And then you have to let people know. So you cry more, you tell stories, and the language brings you back to the present.
And then you realize what abundance truly means. That we are equipped as humans to feel so much. The good and the bad create an experience that is so full. Full of everything.
How grateful I am to have and experience such epic levels of love that I can be caused such epic levels of pain. On a day of such mourning and heartbreak, I am also filled with so much love and gratitude that I was given this man as my Grampa in this life. One who was an example of what a man should be, without even trying. His nature was pure love, kindness and generosity. Not to mention he was the most adorable man on earth.
I love you, my sweet Gpa. You have helped to mold the person I am today and there aren’t enough thanks in the universe worthy of everything you’ve done for me. Until we meet again, I’ll carry you with me. <3
Ivan Bernie Enger