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Tagged as: QoTW29.

Written by Gujju on March 19, 2011
My biggest regret. I don’t even need to think about this one. For years, this has been the one thing that haunts me. I spent months dealing with my grief, coming to terms with everything that had happened. There have been a few times over the last 5 years where it’s come back to me in a hard way, and I spend days or weeks in a state of depression.

Sounds pretty strange coming from me, huh? Even I know that I am a usually very happy person. I don’t like to linger on what is sad, or least I don’t when I am in front of other people. But this one thing that happened to me is possibly the only thing that manages to overtake the strong front I put on in front of everyone.

Let’s get on with the tale, shall we?

Let’s go back a few years

Back to when I was just about to enter high school. It was the summer after graduating middle school, and my family decided to take a little vacation. My parents, my brother and I went off to India to visit my dad’s parents, planning the trip to coincide with my aunt’s (my dad’s sister) family. It was amazing, it was the first time meeting my two cousins from England, and we all got along really well. Staying up late every night, laughing out loud, and causing havoc in the village (yup, I am a farm girl). I was 14, and I didn’t have a care in the world.

It was my 3rd time visiting my grandparents, and they were the kind of people anyone could along with. I actually really looked up to them. Despite being from a little village in India, and despite being SUPER old, they had such a modern outlook on life, not the closed minded mentality I assumed all old Indian people had.

I especially looked up to my grandpa. He was 90 when I was visiting, and he wasn’t in the same shape he was in when I was there 3 years before, but when I looked at his certificate of honour hanging on the wall, I completely forgot about how frail he was. I was too overcome with pride to care that he may need help walking around, or had trouble remembering minor details, or that he vision wasn’t what it used to be.

You see, he used to be a freedom fighter back when India was still fighting the British rule. He walked alongside Mahatma Ghandi on the Great Salt march, and escaped when he was sent to jail. He was a bad ass mother fucker in my eyes.

But I never told him he was a bad ass mother fucker. I never told him anything. Never once mentioned that I thought it was so cool to have him as my grandpa. Never let him know that I wanted to be a social worker like he was before being a peaceful fighter. Never said that I really loved him. I just left after my one month trip was over. Shed a few goodbye tears and thought “Hey, I’ll be seeing him when I come again in three years”.

Fast forward to December, the same year

It was only a few days until Christmas, and the only thing I had on my mind was the awesome party we would have, just like we did every year. I woke up on the 21st, knowing only a few days were left before winter vacation started. But this wasn’t going to be any old holiday.

My mom came into my room while I was just getting out of bed, and she looked like she had been crying.

And then she told me my grandpa had died.

It took me a few minutes to understand what she just told me. I couldn’t comprehend it. I didn’t want to. I just fell back into my bed, and then it finally hit me.

For reasons I can’t remember, I insisted on going to school anyways that day. Maybe it was because my grandpa was so big on getting an education. It was literally the only thing he ever asked me about on the phone when we called India. It was a stupid idea to go. I couldn’t do my group presentation, I couldn’t speak to my teachers about why I was crying, I couldn’t eat my lunch. I could only just sit there, silenced by all the pain.

When the day was over, I went home and sat in silence of my house. The usual hustle-bustle of the evening had turned into something I didn’t want to sit through. My parents then made me go with them to my dad’s older brother house, where by our cultural traditions, people would be coming to sit with us and mourn. My older cousins tried not to be as depressed as I was. They reminded me of what a fulfilling life our grandpa had lived, and that it was better for him to be gone now than suffer the way he was in his fragile old age. None of that made me feel better.

For the next few days, I eventually accepted that my grandpa was dead, and finally in peace. We held one final prayer before the winter vacation was over, where all our family and friends came. After it was over, one my older cousins sat down with me, and told me how lucky I was. She said it was fortunate that I got to go to India that summer and see my grandpa one last time. But this only reminded me even more that despite being fortunate enough to see him before he was gone, I never told him how important he was to me.

I got over the grief of losing my grandpa a long time ago, but the regret of not telling him that I loved him and respected him is something that I still struggle with. And that is my biggest regret.

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March 19, 2011
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Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:29 AM +

man, this makes my story seem like shit.
-hugs snail-

Sat Mar 19, 2011 04:31 PM +

Grandparents are cool in their own ways. Like, old people cool.

Sat Mar 19, 2011 04:40 PM +

The fact that you acknowledged your grandfather's awesome qualities is a great virtue in itself.

Sat Mar 19, 2011 04:41 PM +

Lithium said: man, this makes my story seem like shit.
-hugs snail-

lol it wasnt my intention, i swear :P

Sat Mar 19, 2011 05:04 PM +

My grandfather was cool, too. I wish I could've told him more but he passed away when I was only 8, so I didn't have the capacity at that age to appreciate all the finer things my grandfather had accomplished and how much he loved me.

Sun Mar 20, 2011 05:49 AM +

My grandfather liked my sister more then he liked me. We loved each other all the same, but it was always my sister who got the hugs, my sister who got his little candies and my sister who he took for a walk around the block.

It was probably because he was more forgiving towards her since she was younger...but I think it's why I'm MUCH more attached to my grandma then my sister and vice-versa. My grandfather died a few years ago and I didn't shed a tear. I should have, but I didn't. I actually got yelled at from my cousin for not crying. She said I didn't care.

I didn't. Death wasn't something that occurred to me at that age (I was maybe 8, 9).

But now...if my grandma died....I think my world would be over. I love that woman to bits, she is so amazing. And it's sad that I never got a chance to feel the same way for my grandpa, but he didn't give me the chance.

I've recently been forcing myself to look at pictures of dead children and people, bloody situations, mass murderers. I think it's good to educate yourself in these things, and not live yourself so sheltered that when something bad does happen, you don't either:
1: Hole up and cry forever
2: Not even care

Sun Mar 20, 2011 07:01 AM +

I don't really know my grandfather. My mom visits him often, I just never went. Iunno, have better things to do.

Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:47 AM +

pirkid said: I didn't. Death wasn't something that occurred to me at that age (I was maybe 8, 9).

I had this huge fear of death when i was 7.


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