A few weeks ago, the day after my birthday, I woke up to the worst phone call a person can get. My mother informed me that my grandfather had, quite unexpectedly, passed. I had been planning on flying home to see my grandparents that weekend and was about 24 hours away from seeing him one last time.
My grandfather was a lot of things.
My grandfather was a pilot, a skydiver, a nationally ranked hydroplane-racer, a football player, a referee, a comedian, a radio personality, and a maverick—much like John McCain, who we did not vote for. He could deal himself four aces in poker, he could make a redwood hope chest with professional precision, and he owned nearly 4,000 movies at the time of his death, a large chunk of which were dope ass Westerns. In his prime, I would have put money on the fact that my grandfather could kick your grandfather’s ass, but he wouldn’t do that because he was above that fucking shit so don’t ask him to do it, okay?
Oh yeah, he also didn’t like to swear.
There are no words in any language I know that properly describe the sudden jolt—that realization—that the person you hold most dear does not exist in the world anymore. It will wake you up at night. It will make you clutch your chest as if that anvil you feel resting there, crushing your lungs isn’t simply metaphorical.
I will continue to feel that pain for the rest of my life.
That being said, I am trying to move forward. I have accepted that the way he left this earth was the best possible scenario. He simply fell asleep and didn’t wake up again. He wasn’t in pain. He wasn’t in a hospital bed with tubes running out of his nose. He wasn’t a burden. It’s completely selfish for anyone to want him back because he wouldn’t want to be back. He would have wanted to go out exactly as he did. Actually, he would have liked to have a fat cigar in his mouth, but we can’t plan everything perfectly, can we?
It’s for this reason that I am considering getting a tattoo. It would be part of my healing process. It would be me saying that it’s okay that he is gone now because that’s how it should be. Everyone has to go sometime.
That is where you guys come in. My lovely, wonderful, funny, awesomesauce readers, I would like your input. As I talked about on Adventures in Geekery on Seattle Geeky Girls, I have been toying with the idea of a A Song of Ice and Fire tattoo of some sort for quite a while. After my grandfather’s passing, I started thinking about getting Valar Morghulis on my ribs. What do you think? Good idea, bad idea, ugly idea? I’m interesting to hear what people have to say.