Always together, never apart...
Life's a journey that never ends, or does it? For every day that passes you flip the page and after an adventure with a lot of pages written a new chapter will begin. Sitting up in the air ending an amazing experience in New York a new one begins, or I'm actually going back to an older one. The chapter about my grandpa, about the old man that has been with me my entire life. The man that always was on time, even a little bit early. The man that let you ride with him in the car without a seatbelt (that was cool when you were 7, not anymore). The man that always wore his clogs, even though it was ice on the ground outside. The man that made you pancakes whenever you asked for it. The man who always helped you with anything you ever wanted. The only man I never let say goodbye to me without giving me a hug.
Life has been pretty easy due to the circumstances but I think it is because I've learned how to turn it off a little bit. I've been through so many goodbyes lately that I don't even remember anymore. And it actually does get easier. But that doesn't mean that it's less painful when you actually allow yourself to feel it.
I'm thinking back to the day when I was moving to America. I woke up next to Jonas, packed the last things and we went to grandpa for my last meal (pancakes of course) before I was leaving Sweden and my home for a while. He's been sick for a long time but spending time at his has always been something I've liked to do. When we were younger I loved going there for holidays with the family to eat delicious food, enjoy the company of my relatives and to watch Cartoon Network. We always watched Tom and Jerry haha. Sometimes just going there to watch him watching soccer or listen to him complaining about how bad Zlatan is.
Whenever you were going somewhere or if you came back he always wanted to know about the distances, temperatures and time differences. If he only knew how work Siri out. Oh boy, she would've had to think and talk constantly and tell him all about that and some attendance numbers of the audience on games and how many that could fit in certain arenas and so on.
I have so many great memories of him and with him. I'm grateful for that but we are created in a way that always makes us wanting more so of course I just want him to be here still, all the time. He was in so much pain at the end though so I'm happy that he's in heaven with Rosa now, my grandmother and his wife that he has been living without for over 20 years.
The first thing I did when I got back home to Sweden this summer was to go visit him. But things weren't as they were when I left him. He wasn't at home in his kitchen making pancakes for me. He was at the hospital where he spent quite some time during the past three years.
It was so hard leaving Sweden knowing this. Since I lived away from my hometown, where he lives too, during the previous three years I hadn't spent that much time with him lately. But you can't live for someone else either so I decided to move anyways. Whenever my mum was there visiting him we tried to FaceTime and I told him all about the weather of the day and what time it was. It didn't always work that well due to bad internet but I was always happy to see his face and hear his voice. He usually opened the conversation by saying hi followed by "things are as usual", the same way he had done for the past 20 years. But when he started to say "I'm not doing too well" it went as a spear through my heart. Things was supposed to be as usual and all I wanted to hear was that he was fine. Eventually it started to get hard to look away from it. I know that my mum spent a lot of time with him too. He has been alone for a long time so my mum and her other siblings helped out a lot. Every Thursday when my mum was off she usually had some errands to run for him or doctors appointment to take him to. I knew all of this but having my new life in america going at 110 it's hard to take it in fully. I think my mum forgot to tell me some things too since it was so much going on for her too and also maybe to not make me feel too bad. She knew how much I cared for him and that I hated that I was so far away.
When he started to get really sick, about one week before he passed away a visited him at the hospital before work. He asked "What time is it Jersey?!" I said it's around 5am but I'm not there, I'm here with you grandpa, in Gothenburg. He is so used seeing me on the phone I guess he got confused. When I left he said one thing that broke my heart. I leaned over and gave him a hug and he whispered "I'm so sorry for all this.". That's how beautiful he is, inside out, always caring and wishing the best for us. Never wanting to be a burden or extra work for anyone.
I'm not religious but I do believe in universe and it's power and I think it has some kind of plan for us if we only want to believe it and are willing to work for it. Moving to Dallas felt right at the time when it was happening but moving away from Dallas eight months earlier than planned felt right too. Whenever it came up as an "option" I didn't hesitate. And I'm so happy that I decided to trust my gut that I usually do. It wasn't just about me not being comfortable there, it was about me needing to be home. 10 weeks, that's what I got back in Sweden with my beloved grandpa. Not a single meeting spent at his house. I've been visiting him at three different hospitals and at a short term home for sick people where he stayed when he didn't need help 24/7. I've been trying to be there for him but it's hard. He's usually been the one taking care of us, I don't know how to do it.
I tried to watch my mum to see how she did it and at the end we spent some time together with him. The last night before he passed away both me and my mum slept in his room at the hospital. I tried to stay awake as much as possible to keep him company and to hold his hand. He was almost unconscious but when you came really close and tried to make contact he opened his eyes and nodded his head. He tried to say something or gave you a tiny squeeze. He didn't drink or eat. He got morphine every hour to make the pain go away. Whenever the morphine was out of the system he was in so much pain. I've never seen anyone suffer like that. That's the worst thing I've even seen and I don't wish that for my worst enemy. At the end we just wanted him to fall asleep for good to let the pain go away.
I woke up in the morning when my mum headed to work next to him in his room. The situation wasn't changed and he breathed heavily while his head leaned to one side. It looked awfully uncomfortable but that's how he preferred it at the moment. My uncle and his wife came short after that and we all spent some time with him. We did our best trying to get him some water and to clean his mouth. He didn't have any power left to cough properly or to do anything at all himself. I left for lunch with a friend around 12 and was planning on getting back after that and a workout. I had the lunch and went to yoga and were supposed to head back but I decided to join some friends to watch a game instead since I was going spend the night and the following day with him. The game was almost over when I get a call from my mum. He finally found peace, and were now reunited with Rosa in heaven. I ran out and caught the first bus there. My mum and Jennifer were there when it happened. The nurses had been with him and were turning him around so that he wouldn't stay in the same position for too long. When mum and Jennifer came back in the room he took a few uneven deep breaths before he said goodbye one last time.
When we got back in his room in the hospital the nurses had cleaned and changed him into his own clothes. They put a blanket over him and crossed his hands. He looked so peaceful compared to before. It was a relief seeing him like this but also so so sad.
Everyone came and we spent three last hours with him in that room. Crying and laughing thinking about him. It was so surreal cause he was there but at he same time he wasn't.
Me and my mum stayed until it was only us left. A few days earlier I had decided that I wanted to sing supermarket flower at his funeral. We played it for him with just the three of us in the room.
Giving him one last hug was the most sad moment in my life. His cheek felt like it always used to do. Rough but filled with love, but he didn't hug me back. Closing the door to that room one last time was so hard cause it felt like he was still there in some way. He was just sleeping very deeply. When we left the hospital and walked out to the car it was like I felt it. I felt him flying away up to heaven. The pain in my stomach was awful and I had to lean over and scream out loud. It felt like I was throwing up, all at the same time. After a while it was over and I said a final goodbye for myself.
I slept between mum and dad that night and it was all so empty. Ever since I got home I've been thinking about him. If I wasn't there I felt bad for not being there or I was just constantly worrying about him.
Tomorrow is his funeral. It's almost been a month and I still haven't come to a full peace over the situation. Me and my mum are going to sing 'Supermarket flower' in the church in front of everybody. That's just scary itself but I know that he would've appreciated it and I hope that's he going to sit on a cloud with Rosa watching us. I'm gonna do my best not to disappoint them. But he was always so proud and impressed by me so hopefully he can see pass this if it's not perfect.
Thank you so much for all memories shared. You are a role model and an inspiration in life. I'll carry you with me wherever I go and I'll cherish you for the rest of my life.