Monday, September 20, 2010

My grandfather passed away today.

I am completely in shock. While still adjusting to the news that he was dying that I got in a text message this morning, I got a call from my dad that my grandfather had passed away at around 3:45 this afternoon.

The funeral is in 2 days in Florida...I don't think I can go, cause I teach Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon...but is that the kind of thing you cancel class for? Probably. But I don't know if I want to go anyways, because of that whole "horrible grandmother funeral experience" I talked about in my last post. And apparently at my grandfather's funeral they are not even having a eulogy, because it's erev sukkot or some BS like that? How can you have a funeral without a eulogy??? And if it's not a eulogy it's going to be jewish prayers and basically burying my grandfather and that's it. (and apparently my dad doesn't sit shiva either because it's sukkot??? so he's only sitting shiva for a few hours between the funeral + sukkot).

When my grandmother died I went to the funeral so I could be there for my grandfather. But now they are both dead, so I would be going for my dad...who just told me he is kinda relieved he's gone (my dad has been 100% responsible for his care since my grandmother died 3 years ago, and my grandfather had a severe case of dementia to boot. My dad has been taking anti-anxiety meds lately cause of all the stress related to taking care of him). So yeah, I don't know.

Mostly I'm just in shock. Still have no idea what I will do, but I should probably make a decision pretty soon since I would have to cancel class tomorrow and probably Wednesday as well (and book a flight for tomorrow).

My dad also said he would pay for both me and B to go down to the funeral...probably won't happen with the dogs and our lack of dog sitters, but I appreciate that he offered that.

ETA: Hmm, looking at flights, there is a 5:20am wednesday flight that would land in florida at 9:17am, and the funeral is at 10, about a half hour drive from the airport. Am I insane to consider teaching my Tuesday night class (the one that only meets once a week and is graduate level) from 6-9pm, waking up at 3:30am the next day to shower and do my hair and leave at 4:30- the airport being 20 minutes away and bound not to have any people in it at 5:00am on a Wednesday morning, giving me approximately half an hour to make that flight, then getting a taxi to the funeral and making it in the nick of time (if nothing gets delayed and it all goes well), only to return home later that day on another 4 hour fight (both of which include a connection) since my parents prolly wouldn't be cool with me staying there over night and flying back on sukkot morning if they are paying for tickets...and then possibly attending a 6pm dinner with the president of my school after landing around 5:20pm, thus attending all my Tuesday meetings, the dinner with the president, and only missing one day of my undergrad class (that meets twice a week). If I missed wednesday's class I would have to delay the quiz they were supposed to have next monday, since it's directly related to stuff we were supposed to do this week wednesday, and I might need to rearrange the midterm too...


  1. He must really want you there if he offered to pay for both you and B.

  2. it makes me sad to see that dogs play a more important role in your life than family.

    maybe you are not thinking straight because you are grieving?

  3. I'm thinking about the logistics of actually attending this funeral..we moved to a city really far from everyone we know about 2 months ago, we have no dog sitter here, we have no friends within a 3 hour drive, and don't know anything about local kennel options, and we have 2 large dogs. You can't just leave a dog alone in a house for 2 days.

    And the dogs have nothing to do with whether I will go or not, it has to do with whether my husband, who has met my parent's once and never met my grandfather, would be able to go, which he won't.

    I still don't know if I'm going. I don't know If I can even cancel my class tomorrow (it's a 3 hour class so that's canceling a week of class). I still am waiting to hear back from my chair if that's even a possibility. And logistically, I am drowning in work and have several school meetings I'm supposed to attend in the next two days, all of which I would have to miss.

    Meanwhile, my grandfather is dead, his wife is dead (I attended her funeral for his sake), so If I did attend it would be for my dad and possibly my mom. I have barely spoken with my parents for the past several years. So I don't know.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. If you can make it work, I think you should go. It seems like your father really wants you there. However, if you can't you can't and you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. Again, I'm sorry for your loss and I hope it all works out.

  5. Dont kill yourself over it. Dont drop everything on such short notice. Arrange a visit with your parents (and B) when things calm down. Make a donation to a charity in honor of your grandfather - or your parents synogogue or something that your parents will appreciate.

    If your father was sitting shiva, it would be one thing to visit and be there, but since there is no shiva and likely a very quick services - just teach your class and take it easy.

  6. You may as well go. Your father wants you there, and if there's no eulogy, he can't do a repeat performance of shaming you.

    I think your cutting it too close with the early morning flight. Remeber it takes time between the arrival time and actually exiting the plane.

  7. Go if you need to for *you.* None of us know what your relationship really was with your grandfather. I didn't go to my grandfather's funeral--it was in Florida and I was in Seattle and my father told me I shouldn't come--and I still regret it because I had been so close to him and I needed that closure. I needed that finality.

    So if you feel you need to have that closure with him, go no matter how hard it is. If you have your peace with him and your own way of dealing with your feelings, then don't go just because of your family. It's gotta be for you.

  8. I didn't read the post about your grandmother's funeral so I can't comment on that. But if this is going to be an experience at which you are disrespected and treated poorly then by all means don't go.

    Otherwise you should definitely go. In 10, even 5 years from now you would probably wish you did.

    sorry, i don't understand why your husband can't take care of the dogs?

  9. My condolences. Chances are that in 10 years you will regret more not having gone to the funeral than having missed a few classes and dinners and having to have scurried to make up for it. You should also pay for your own ticket.

  10. I'm so sorry!

    Maybe there's a friend or a hotel you could stay with so you can leave during the first day of sukkot? Your dad offering to pay for you and B is a nice offer -- it might mean he really wants you there.

    I don't think B should feel obligated although he should go if he wants to, but it might be worth it for you to go, to support your father even if he may not always deserve it. His father's death is a big thing, even if it's a relief at this point.

    I'm glad I was able to be there for my father even though I had to sit through all kinds of religious BS at the shiva house and felt pressured to join the minyan, etc. (This was years ago before I was fully "out" as OTD, but he knew.)

  11. If you can work out the logistics, I would go.

    They don't do a full eulogy, but usually they have some sort of speakers. At least, all the funerals I've been to that had this type of situation.


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