I do not remember…

I do not remember what he was wearing the day he laid eerily peaceful in a coffin.
His head no longer shook slightly from side to side,
But if I focused hard enough on his chest I could still see it rise.
He was not breathing.
I was not believing in the definite.

I do not remember what color clothe wrapped around his arms as they folded over his belly.
The same belly that usually hung out from under worn t-shirts and over stretch waistbands of sweatpants.
Regardless of the occasion…
I never saw him as a suit and tie kind of guy,
Even though his friends boasted about him being a good business man.
He was always a relaxed man to me-
Puffing cigarettes and eating ice cream
(sometimes without his teeth).

I do not remember what material made him suitable for his own death,
But if I had to guess,
He was up there,
And yeah,
He is “Up There”
Smiling a belly-laugh filled grin,
Holding on to a bitterness about leaving his family and golf buddies behind,
Yet still finding time to enjoy the silence.

I do not remember the fabric that fastened around my Grandfather’s neck the day we put him to rest,
But I do remember how his hair laid a bit flatter than I had seen it before.
And his wrinkles seemed to have been ironed out of his skin.
The corners of his mouth didn’t curl like they used to when he told his favorite joke,
Which might not have been appropriate,
But it made him laugh every single time.
I kept trying to picture him laugh.

I do not remember what he was wearing as family members wept
And the holiday season started out on a grey note.
I do remember the rain.
The somber setting of it all was so surreal to me.
A day I was numbing pain,
He remained silent and still inside of a fancy box topped off with flowers.

Afterwards,
I sat in his empty chair,
Smelling his stale smoke soaked pillows and picturing the last time I saw him sitting there.
His eyebrows were raised,
His hand on his walker,
His spirits not quite as promising as before.

Aside from that day of sadness,
I will remember the happiness in his voice every time I called him.
And I will remember the short conversations,
The habit of disappearing from dinner after he was finished,
And how my Grandma would roll her eyes but laugh at the same time.
He had this funny way of making people happy.

But no,
I do not remember what he was wearing at his funeral.
I can remember the beautiful gifted flower arrangements and the picture books.
I can remember his belly laugh and chest-heavy cough.
I remember him kindly.
He was always so kind to me.

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