1. rockwhisperer says

    This is how it’s supposed to work, I guess…except that the universe never read the rules. Children die. Adult children die. Grandparents raise their orphaned grandchildren. Life is complicated and messy.

    My grandfathers died before I was born, I barely knew my paternal grandmother, and only knew my maternal one a little better. I did have some paternal great aunts and uncles, but I didn’t know them well either.

    I was in my early 20s when a colleague who I knew well and liked, a man in his fifties, died suddenly of a heart attack. That shocked my badly, that I could be joking with someone one afternoon, and the next morning they were gone forever. It happened again a few years later, another colleague who was also a friend. He was in his late forties, he and his wife were talking together in their kitchen, and suddenly he fell to the floor with a burst aneurysm. It killed him instantly. That was a terrible shock.

    By comparison, the loss of my mother after a long decline, and that of my father after one of just a few months, were initially much less painful (though they had much longer-term ramifications to my mental health).

  2. Jörg says

    Don’t be sad when your grandpa dies peacefully, and in his sleep. … And not screaming in terror, like his passengers. 😉

  3. Ridana says

    It’s really only been since the latter half of the 20th century that most parents could begin to take for granted that they would die before (at least some of) their children did. That doesn’t mean that was always the case by any means, but that the likelihood of your children dying before you was very real.

  4. Matt G says

    My partner’s nephew died in a work accident ten years ago at the age of 25. His mother’s life has revolved around his death ever since. A former co-worker of mine lost her son to an opioid overdose when he was around that same age, but she has allowed her life to go on.

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