As soon as Dad's name popped up on the car stereo screen, I knew what the phone call was. I'd been expecting it really, had picked up the subtext of the whispers and the long looks. No one wants to confront that sort of thing, but there it was. "Carol and I are doing well, but your grandmother passed away earlier today."
I wish I had more to say about Grandma Alice. I didn't know her that well, she married my grandfather a few years before his death, and we only passed in crossing, cards and presents in the mail at birthdays and Christmas. A few family get-togethers, usually when she was traveling. She traveled a lot, loved the train. That's what I remember the most about her, her energy. She was pretty spry for an old lady. Always with a smile on her lips. She was a good woman, and she'll be missed.
It's wierd that I feel like Death is growing closer recently, since returning from Afghanistan. Death has always been a far removed figure, someone who visits other people, not someone I've ever had a personal relationship. Not even after the things I saw or did in Afghanistan. Sure, I've lost grandparents along the way (five so far) but I just... don't see them again. Is that all death is?
When I think about Death, it's not meeting him myself that bothers me. That's a thing that will happen, and frankly, I've narrowly avoided in the past. (I don't always make the best decisions). When asked what I'm afraid of I usually, jokingly, answer "Women. They terrify the shit out of me." I've never laid in bed at night dreading the inevitably of women, though. I have lost many a minute to thoughts of losing Dad, and how I'd deal with it. I'd be a wreck. Complete and total.
Stay away from me, Death, I ain't got nothing to say to you. Ain't nobody got time for that.