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Lessons from Grampa

Back in September, my 77 year-old grandfather died in his sleep after a protracted illness and I did not mourn. Of course I was sad and there was an occasional tear here and there but for the most part, I did not possess the emotional bandwidth necessary to process my feelings in the traditional way. This is in part because I was so busy with the logistics surrounding the funeral – I was responsible for making the arrangements, wrangling family, and covering costs – that I didn’t have time to stop and, as the young folk say, “feel some type of way.” My grandfather, whose name was Earl by the way, wasn’t the type to emote and linger when there was business to be handled anyhow so in a way, I felt like I was doing things the way he would’ve wanted. Earl Hansen was as no-frills of a man as you could get. Even when he was quite well, his favorite activity was sitting on the porch; a good meal was an egg salad sandwich and a big glass of cold water. That’s a man who wouldn’t want me dropping the ball at a funeral because of grief.

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