Posted by: Kathy | November 12, 2015

Day 8: My Letter to My Grandfather

The assignment for day 8 of Writing 101 is to write our post as a letter. Choosing who to write to was a difficult decision. I usually write to my mom, but yesterday was Veteran’s Day and my son will be joining the military in 2017. So another possibility. Last night, as I sat down to catch up on assignments, I decided to read posts instead of write. As I was reading, it came to me and I knew in my heart who my letter should be written to – my paternal grandfather.

Dear Grandpop:

I am writing to you because out of all the family members I have lost, you were the one who was most afraid of being forgotten. Growing up, I saw you on holidays, possibly birthdays and other family get-togethers, but these were only a few days out of each year. In your later years of life, when I was old enough to understand more, I knew you weren’t happy. When I asked you how you were doing, your reply was always “oh, I’m just waiting to die.” It was a response that stopped me cold the first time I heard it. But then after hearing it a few times, I would just continue our conversation as if you said you were fine. Now I wish I had responded differently. Talked to you about how you were really doing. I don’t know if that would have helped, but I hope you know I cared. I hope you know I loved you.

I didn’t know much about your life when you were alive. My recent genealogy research has given me some information, but I wish I would have learned more about you by talking with you, spending time with you. Losing your mom as a teenager must have been so difficult and probably shaped part of your life, how you felt and viewed things. But you kept moving forward, graduating from high school then college, getting married, and building a life for your family. Despite the unhappiness I saw, I believe there were times in your life when you were happy. I hope there were moments in your life that warmed your heart, made you smile, even made you laugh out loud.

You died in your sleep, most likely from another heart attack. It was the day of my son’s surgery. He wasn’t even 2 years old, and although it wasn’t a major procedure, surgery is surgery and I was worried. Fortunately, all went well and my son was fine, discharged a few hours after he awoke from anesthesia. It was on the drive home from the medical center that I received the call from Mom telling me that you were gone. You were 85 years old, and it was my hope that in death you finally had happiness and peace in your heart. Nearly 3 years later, your sweet, kind, loving wife, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for many years, died. I had faith that you two were together again, with the one person you loved most in life.

Before I started writing this letter, I lit your memory candle. I got this candle with the hope that each time I light it, you know I am thinking of you. It is your candle, bearing your name, date of birth, and date of death. I have 4 more candles just like it, for all the family members I lost between May 2000 and November 2008.

I wish I knew more about you. I wish we had talked more. Please know that as in life, you have not been forgotten in death.





  1. This was beautiful and touched my heart. It reminded me to ask more of my grandparents lives when I see them this Christmas, since both are now aged 85 and 87 xx

    • Thank you. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with them.

  2. Lovely letter.

    • Thank you!

      • 🙂

  3. God bless this is so sweet and caring I hope he’s looking down and you saying he loves you back and that you’d talk later in life 🙏🏼 May he RIP

    • Thank you. I truly believe my family watches over us here on earth.

      • Amen to that!

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