Sunday, June 12, 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front

It's been almost a month since my last post, and for once, I have good reason. I had begun working on a couple of posts, but something important occurred that overshadowed everything else, made me put life on hold for a week, and prevented me from caring about the blog for another week after that.

My grandfather died on May 28th after 94 years of squeezing everything he could out of life.

I was really close with my granddad, even more so than with my actual father. There's a whole history there that I won't disclose here, because it's not all that interesting and because pouring out my pain to strangers on the internet isn't why I started blogging.

Suffice it to say that he was a great man and I'll miss him terribly. He fought in WWII, was injured three times while there, returning to the front to fight alongside his mates each time. He didn't talk much about his experiences there, but when lubricated with a little whiskey or beer, the tales would flow.

However, he was a lot more than a mere Bren machine gunner, helping to bring a halt to the Nazi menace in Europe. He was a fighter and a charmer at the same time, and although he was incredibly opinionated, he was always surrounded by friends and family. He could remember the name of somebody that he'd met once ten years previously, and wherever he went he always ran into one or two people to have a friendly chat with.

He was a hard worker, and played hard as well. He was always ready and available to help any friends or family members that needed assistance. He was always busy, but always made time for people. He was happiest when having a beer, offering up some anecdote about the past to those around him.

I'm not going to recreate the goodbye that I read out at his funeral, despite the fact that my wife says that I should put it up here. Maybe someday, but not today.

I just wanted to say my grandfather was my hero, and I miss him. The gates of Valhalla opened up a couple of weeks ago to welcomed the arrival of a Celtic warrior.


  1. My Grandfather passed a year ago February. He, much like you say of your Grandfather, was a big part of my life.
    His death, for me, was part of my decision to start blogging. I was close to him, and yet there was so much I never really knew about him. Going through this old letters I learned so much about the person he was, and I wanted my children to have a legacy of who I was as well.
    All my best, buddy. I hope you are back in good form again soon....

  2. When it rains, it fucking pours.
    My mom informed me that a cousin of mine committed suicide on Saturday. He wasn't a close cousin, by any stretch. I only met him a few times, and he was in his late 20s. His father, my uncle, died of cancer almost exactly 10 years ago.
    I had another cousin that hanged herself two weeks before my wedding, so that now means I have two family members that have committed suicide.
    Life is indeed interesting (or fucked up, however you want to look at it).