He just went to sleep and never woke up

by Klau
(Brooklyn,NY, USA)

It was June 3rd, 2009 my 15th birthday, when I received an incoming skype call from my family in Israel. Normally, you would think they were calling me to wish me a happy birthday, but no. Not at that time they weren't. Their tears, their sorrow, their anger, pain, hate, anxiety was all over the place. Everyone was screaming, "he is dead, he is dead" repeating the same thing over and over, crying. I heard them. I heard every single word they said. I looked at them very carefully, at all of them; my closests cousins, grandma and aunt. I knew, I knew who they referred to, because he's the only one who my eyes did not meet. I was raised by grandparents my whole life. Exactly five months before my fifteenth birthday, I had immigrated to the United States with my parents and my brother. It was a dream come true for some of us, but for some of us leaving behind everything; family, friends, a house and a job was not. You might be asking why we left then, well as like any other immigrant, we followed my father, who insisted to pursue the American dream; money, education and freedom. My grandfather was supporting his son's decision. He promised that he will join us later and I believed him. Because in the 90's my father immigrated to Israel and again grandfather supported his decision and in fact, followed him few months later. In 1997, grandfather have gone through a tremendously serious accident, and was give a wheel chair for the rest of his life. Well, that's what everyone thought including himself. I was 3 years old when I was left a lone with my grandfather for few hours while I was sleeping. As I woke up, I have been told that I cried non stop. Grandpa was able to contact my parents several times and nothing from what they suggested, helped. As I have been told by my grandfather, is that it was killing him to see me cry and he tried to move and lift himself towards me. He couldn't. And I kept on crying. He didn't give up, and eventually, he did was able to get up. He pushed himself towards me. There was no need to lift me up, he said. I have stopped crying right after i saw him. My grandpa was standing and he didn't even realize it until it got quite enough for him to feel. He called me his 'treasure' all my life. We are six grandchildren; three boys and three girls. And yet, I was the only one given such a nickname, and no I was not the youngest grandchild. I lived in a small city, where everyone knows each other and my school was six minutes away from home. He was walking me to school until the end of forth grade. It was embarrassing and I asked him to walk me only until a certain spot and from there, he just left. And everyday after school he was meeting me at the same spot and we were walking home. All of my friends loved my grandfather and they all walked home with us. Some children were asking me "why are you always with your grandfather? You are such a baby" I never replied back, because I knew that there's a special bond between us since birth, that could never be exemplified. On every event; holidays and birthdays my grandfather was coming home with flowers for me and my grandma. My grandfather was present on every concert or a show I had participated in and never missed any of my brothers soccer games. My grandfather was traveling a lot. When my cousins left Israel to live in Canada, my grandfather was collecting money to offered three tickets every year foci self, me and my grandma. By the time I turned 12, I was spending a lot of time hanging out outside with friends. There were many situations were my group of friends getting into conflicts with other group of friends. if something serious was going on, all of my friends ran out to my grandfather for protection. They all knew that if anyone messes with me he messes with him. Trust me, no one liked messing with him. :) in 2009, when I immigrated to the United States, my parents put me in a private school and I was bullied by many girls my age, some were younger even. My grandfather was not there to protect me he was miles away. However, was still able to comfort me and give me strength. Father left me, my mother and brother for few months and went back. I was talking to my grandparents, for hours, everyday after school through Skype. We were even talking and planning their visit here. Few months later, grandpa went to sleep and never woke up again. My angel. It's been almost six years now, and I can't let him go. After reading all those emotional stories that people published here, I began to realize that I am not the only one. And I know it takes time. It's not easy letting go of someone that had never given you a reason to. He wasn't sick he was 65 years old, healthy and strong, Who just went to bed and never made it to the next day. That happen to be on my birthday. Why did he pass away in bed, I wonder? And why did our god decided to take him on the same date he gave me life? So many questions without any answers. When I turned 18 years old, I went back to visit his grave. I brought his favorite flowers, my sun glasses were on, and I just cried! It was a beautiful day, sunny out but inside of me , everything was dark and ugly. a year later, I'm sitting here wanting to share this story with you, because this memoir had changed my prospective on the world. Appreciate what you have now before it's gone. We don't know what night happen to us today, later on In the day. I love you grandpa you will never be forgotten.

Comments for He just went to sleep and never woke up

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Feb 03, 2014
He just went to sleep and never woke up
by: Doreen UK

Klau I am sorry for your loss of your granddad. You will have seen many disruptions in your life through emigrating and starting life again in a new country. Putting distance between your loved ones. this carries it's own burdens. I have emigrated and returned to the UK so I know how hard it is Moving home.
Your granddad seems to have been a great support to you all as a family and you will feel lost without him. It is good to have family support. It makes life easier. My husband died of cancer 21 months ago and he was 65yrs. old. I felt this was too young to die and wanted more years together.
You say you don't understand why your granddad had to die in his bed in his sleep. This to me is one of the best ways to die. In my Faith God likens death to sleep. My husband was dying of cancer and wondered what death felt like. I told him as God says. You just go to sleep and you don't wake up. This comforted him. My husband suffered severe cancer pain and had a painful death. Your granddad had a good end but still sad nevertheless. It will take you all as a family a long time to go through your loss. The best way is ONE DAY AT A TIME. But you will all recover in time.

Feb 03, 2014
by: Anonymous

What a wonderful loving story you write. You were so fortunate to have such a loving ,caring grandfather who had such strength and character. I know he has instilled those same qualities in you.

I know it's a normal thing we all ask why when our loved one passes but we have to know that God in his infinite wisdom has done what he knows is best for those he takes but It leaves the rest of us heartbroken and sad and when we pass we too will leave any remaining family feeling the same way, unfortunately.

I pray for you the peace that comes from knowing he is at home with his father.

Feb 03, 2014
by: dianne

I had 2 respond to your message klau when I read it bought tears to my eyes the feelings you expressed about the loss of your grandad I lost my eldest son he was 21 went asleep and never woke up our love for them will remain in our hearts for always thank you for sharing hugs to you

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