My grandpa died last year. Not exactly unexpectedly, but then again death is never really expected. I didn't know him that well, but out of all the members of my family, I am probably most like him.
I wish I would have gotten to know him better, but just when my own sense of identity began to become clear and I started a long journey to make peace with myself, he began a slow decline into ill health. My grandma began to develop Alzheimer's, and one day she mistook my grandpa for an intruder and brained him with a frying pan. He required hospitalization and many stitches and he couldn't talk for a long while. He looked absolutely terrible with a shaved head and giant stitches, filled with frustration at the inability to talk. I gave him my first and last adult hug at that hospital in St. Cloud. Meanwhile my grandmother didn't even know what was going on. I felt utterly unable to even attempt to establish a connection with her.
He got better and I did see him once more at Christmas, where he seemed to take some joy in interacting with Maya, my sister's young daughter. He talked about his new invention with me and my partner, a vertical windmill. He even sketched out a plan.