Thursday, April 28, 2011

"I Love You." Plain and Simple.

I could tell he wasn’t just uncomfortable; he was in a lot of pain.  By that time, as I would later learn, the cancer had a firm grasp on his insides. 

But, as always, he still managed to put others first. 

“What’s Shawn up to today?”

“Oh, he’s in a squash tournament.  He said to say hi.” 

He took a moment to squeeze down the pain and then matter-of-factly chuckles, “Do it while you can.” 

I felt uneasy.  But I managed to murmur out a quiet, “Yep.”

I hadn’t heard this side of him before.  I wondered if that was what giving up sounded like. Or perhaps it was wisdom.  His athletic years were long gone, of course, but even so he seemed to be coming to terms with the fact that even the simplest things (like walking and talking) were becoming more difficult, day by day.  

Do it...while you can...

We buried my grandfather yesterday morning.  It was a beautiful ceremony for a life well lived.  And yet, I keep coming back to that conversation.  And I wonder: If I would have known those were the last words I would share with my granddad, would I have chosen different ones? 

Like, “I Love you.”  Plain and simple.

But these are the games that we play with ourselves when a loved one dies. 

Is there something we could have done differently?  Said differently?  If we could just go back in time and do this or say that…then perhaps things would be different.  Perhaps we would feel less pain. 

But of course we can't go back.  Instead, I breathe in the tears, face forward, and know that:

I loved enough.

I said enough.

I am enough.

Plain and Simple.


  1. Dearest Kate, first of all I'm so, so sorry to hear about your loss. No matter the age, it's always a painful transition losing someone who was important in our lives.
    And second, this is so beautifully written! Straight from your heart. And I can totally relate - I was with my Mom when she died and have spent some time regretting that I didn't hug her and say more even though she was basically comatose at the time. But we were on good terms and we both knew the love was there, so it's OK. You're so right. I have made peace with it and it sounds as though you have done the same. There is a lot of love hidden in your words here. Big hugs and love to you!!!

  2. I'm so so sorry for your loss, Kate. I haven't lost anyone close to me yet but I imagine that when I do, I will go through the same "if only". It sounds like you've come through them to peace and love.

    Sending wishes of love and comfort.

  3. Dear Kate, I just want you to know how sorry I am for your loss. It sounds like you had a very special relationship with your grandfather, and I know he was lucky to have had you for a granddaughter. Sending you love and peace.