My father-in-law passed away last week. He was 96 and pretty much stayed active right up to the end.
He had about a year of real struggle but his mental state never wavered. He remained positive and fought the good fight right up to the end. He was truly the last man standing, having outlived every one of his contemporaries.
It's interesting how, when someone lives that long, you get the idea that they are going to be there forever. Of course, you know that is not possible but the enduring quality of the person gives you the idea that maybe this time things will be different.
My wife talks about the feeling that a star that you look at every night is suddenly no longer there. We tell ourselves that his spirit remains with us and to some extent that is true. His presence in the mind never leaves even though we will never see him again or go to his house for a visit with the grandchildren or, now, the great grandchildren. Sunday afternoons when we usually call grandpa will have an empty spot for a while at least.
This is going to take some getting used to. This was a man who was possibly more important to me than my own father. I always admired his integrity and determination to "get it right" even though he often did not. They say that every ending is also a beginning. This might be true. I wonder what it's the start of?
I will not post again this week as we are going to be otherwise engaged. The family gathering will be impressive. Just counting kids and grandkids, there's upward of 40 people! Quite a legacy.