Grandad died yesterday.
I don't really have a great deal to say that hasn't been said - it had been a long time coming, he'd clearly been suffering and so it's good that that has come to an end; but it still hurts. Thank God I did indeed drop everything to rush down there to say goodbye on Monday.
When thinking on death in cases like this, I'm very much inclined to the view that death isn't really the enemy. Yes, it hurts, but it's really the culmination of a life lived long and well. Two weeks short of ninety-three years is a good innings; and although he faced his challenges, and although the last decade or so were faced in increasingly poor health, they were mostly good years. When I read my grandad's life story a few years ago, it was quite apparent that that was not a life filled with regret.
It also helps to know that his passing was as peaceful as could be hoped - my Grandma and my cousin Jo were with him, and from her account it seems that he was asleep, his breathing changed, and that was the end. It could have been a lot worse.
So while this is a time for grief, it's not a time for despair. And a time, again, for me to reflect on the blessings I've been given before the three bereavements I've faced.
I don't, as yet, know any of the details for the funeral. I expect that there is a well-laid plan in place - with plenty of time to prepare, and knowing the people involved, I can hardly imagine anything else. Hopefully, it will be a send off fitting for the life, and for the manner of the death.