So I’m realizing this blog is kind of a mishmash of my personal story combined with daily experiences and random facts about hep c. Now I’m going to veer in yet another direction (sorry) because I’m finding that this blog is kind of cathartic for me as a sort of “mind dump.” So if you are tiring of my digressions, read no further. Warning: No sunshine and butterflies ahead.

The thing is, my grandfather is dying. Most people have been through this at least once before they’ve reached my age (26) so I’m lucky in that I have kept all my grandparents this long. But I’m a little behind on how to handle losing someone this close. Granddad has had cancer for quite awhile now but it has just been this past month that he has really started to go downhill. He lives about five hours away, so I haven’t seen him since right before school started, and then he was still alert and talking, reading about taking up bonsai as a hobby, starting some azalea cuttings to train up, etc. Now apparently he is sleeping all but one or two hours out of 24. I’m afraid he won’t make it til Thanksgiving so I just booked my train ticket for next weekend. I have a long weekend from school so I figured I had better go.

What do you say when you know this might be goodbye? And is it stupid that I really want to ask him if he’s scared? I mean, what kind of question is that to ask a dying person? The answer seems like it would be an obvious yes, but for some reason I’m fixated on asking him this.

I called the other day and caught him when he was awake. His voice was very hoarse (Granny says he doesn’t want to eat or drink much these days) so he couldn’t talk for long, but he always insists he’s fine.

Me: “Granddad, how you doing?”
Granddad: “Oh I’m fine hon.”
Me: “Are you being ornery?”
Granddad: “I wouldn’t be fine if I wasn’t ornery!”

Granny says he doesn’t like it when she arranges for one of the kids to come over when she leaves the house “because he doesn’t need a babysitter!” So they take turns strategically “dropping by for coffee.”

So do we just keep on pretending everything is ok? Granny and Granddad are the most religious people I know, so maybe to them it really is ok and we don’t need to state the obvious here. I wonder if they’ve had the priest out for last rites yet. And I wonder what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about whether anyone has asked him if he’s scared.