In May, 1982 I was 7 years old.
I was very young.
My Grandad, (my dad's dad) was 68.
Now I realize, that too is young.
On May 31, 1982 my Grandad passed away. I recall very little about his death. I remember sitting on my couch in my front room looking straight ahead, while I was being told he had died.
I do remember standing at an intimate gathering at the graveside. My dad was offering a prayer, in which he was dedicating my Grandad's grave to be his final resting place.
Prayers were a common occurrence in my life. My family prayed frequently, and I knew the rules... one was supposed to close their eyes during prayers.
As I closed my eyes while my dad was praying, tears silently seeped out. I guess I didn't realize crying was normal at the death of a grandparent, and so, in a brave effort to not let anybody see me cry. I kept my eyes open for the duration of the prayer.
Though I only knew my Grandad for seven short years. I think of him frequently. I have shed plenty of tears at the tender memories I have with him, and I have shed tears at the memories never created.
I think of Grandad at every funeral I attend.
Because whenever I am at a funeral, I do not close my eyes during the prayers.