When I growing up I remember a dozen or so great aunts and uncles pass away. People who I had either rarely seen or never met so it never really affected me.
When I was 7 or 8 my fraternal grandfather died from leukemia. That’s really the first time that death hit home for me.
When I was 11 or 12 my maternal grandmother died after a long battle with diabetes which lead to a stroke that she just couldn’t recover from. She was easily the grandparent I was closest to.
When I was 18 a friend of mine from high school that I played football and worked at the local cvs with was killed. He was shot in the back of the head during an attempted car jacking by a 13 year old girl as part of her gang initiation.
When I was 20 one of my childhood friends who I grew up playing football with through middle school and high school committed suicide. This one was probably the hardest for me. I still have a hard time with it.
In the next few days, maybe weeks, my fraternal grandmother, Meme, is going to die. She got breast cancer a few years ago, had the cancer removed, and in about the last year it’s come back stronger than ever and in the last month or so it’s taken off. She’s rapidly losing weight, she’s had to start using a walker, she’s now on oxygen, and she’s in a bunch of pain. Through all of this she is more worried about how much we sell the vases in her house for or being afraid that she won’t make it till some family comes in town and will disappoint them than she is about being comfortable for these last few days. She’s funny and stubborn like that. She’s drank a 2 liter of Pepsi daily for at least the last 30 years, her favorite foods involve some sort of white gravy, and amazingly she isn’t overweight at all. And she has one of the most interesting outlooks on the world I’ve ever heard. I’ve never been the closest grandchild to Meme but I’m going to miss her. Fuck cancer.