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This is a question Tales of the Unexplained

Flying saucers. Big Cats. Men in Black. Satan walking the Earth. Derek Acorah, also walking the Earth...

Tell us your stories of the supernatural. WoooOOOooOO!

suggestion by Kaol

(, Thu 3 Jul 2008, 10:03)
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You never forget...
You never forget your first experience with death; No, I am not speaking from beyond the grave, but talking about that very first instance where death jumps out from behind the safety of the evening news, the newspaper, the stories from friends etc. Hitting you in the stomach with such ferocity you are left with that sinking feeling, the insatiable hunger, the black void and you can't actually understand that this is actually happening to you.

Some four years ago I was a dramatically 'younger' little dalai and was one of the few lucky people to have lived to the age of 18 without having lost anybody special to me. No Great Great Aunt, no school friend in an accident, no neighbour I knew of: life was sweet and I had spent my years enjoying my wonderful family, friends and scarpering about on the gert lush fields of Somerset doing the varied and enjoyable things boys do in 18 years of life.

One of these people who made my upbringing so special was Grandad. A man who despite being born with debilitating condition and spent the first few years of life in hospital, struggled against all odds and grew up to live a totally unpredicted 'normal' life.

This man was loved by all and gave all he could to bring cheer and happiness to those around him: he would think nothing of the difficult, long working day shift in the motor factory and the additional nightshift at the bakery as this brought his son (my Uncle) the option to travel to the boarding college the family could otherwise never afford.

When I came into the world I was blessed enough for this man to have taken a particular shine to me. Growing up I was treated (Read: Spoiled) with trips to the zoo, days out at the beach with ice-cream and candyfloss and adventures to far away adventure parks alike. Sometimes amazing evenings were had through the simple event of a playground visit and then watching Dad's Army together as he stroked my back. As I grew up into a young teen, the support and love through my education was always felt despite this old gentleman strictly sticking to his title of 'a man of few words'.

He didn't really need words though for what he did for me: the quiet smile when I showed him my achievements, the open door and fresh lemonade poured when I arrived for a visit, that cheeky wink when I was meant to be 'told off'; all were more powerful to me than the deepest conversations from others.

So when his age and all of its accompanying demons became more powerful than the tired will of this once great man, I found myself and close family surrounding his bed; timing the ever increasing gap between breaths, and watching the rosy-pink blood vessels on his cheek retreating to leave a waxy, white reflection of our truly beloved head of the family.

He was gone. He couldn't be gone- he's always been there, how can he be gone? I knew about death, I knew the science and the biology of it, but this couldn't actually happen to MY Grandad, no matter what happens in my life, he would always be there in his home to offer the ever-present company and lemonade surely?

I couldn't actually understand that he could possibly be gone until *THUD*... this huge combine hammer of death & reality kicked me deep in the stomach, and all of a sudden, the thousand things I wanted to say, the stories I wanted to tell him and the future I wanted to show him were all impossible.

He was gone, and I had encountered my first dealing with the selfish and unforgiving death.

Later that afternoon following the doctor’s visits and endless phone calls I felt a sudden wave of claustrophobia and this house, under the dark cloud of death was too much. I escaped to the garden to 'Grandad's bench' and had a bit of a sob.

My uncle popped out and sat down next to me, gave me a hug and said a few comforting words. He gave my back a loving stroke which instantly reminded me of the days with Grandad watching Dad's Army, and then walked off leaving me in peace. I remember giving way to the tears and feeling the heat of the sun on my neck as I sat head in hands expressing my moment of grief.

Moments later I popped back inside to see everyone for more 'group' comfort only to find my mother, auntie & grandmother inside.

"Where's Uncle Paul?" I enquired, wishing to thank him for a good set of comforting words.

"Oh he's popped over to see the Reverend" answered mother.

"OK, I was just chatting to him in the garden and he made me realise something about...."

Looking up somewhat alarmed, mother, auntie & grandmother rushed to inform me he had left well over an hour ago.

At that highly confusing point, and following a minutes' intense conversation, I had a realisation that has changed my opinion on death to this day:

When we lose somebody at the end of their life, our grief is derived from a purely selfish origin- the fact that we can see them no longer and undertake all that we would like to do and share with them.

When death visits, he isn't delivering the dreaded blow to the stomach described earlier, but whisking away the tired and used-up contents of our friends and loved ones so they may suffer no longer. When we realise death is just another part of life, we are able to accept people leaving us and let them live on in the memories and stories we share to those around us.

This view upon the subject of death is indeed questionable and no doubt won't be shared by everyone, but those few minutes in the garden on Grandad's bench were more questionable than I as a sceptic and science-lover would ever have believed, yet I have drawn comfort from them both ever since.

Thank you.
(, Fri 4 Jul 2008, 19:55, 9 replies)
...have a winner. That tales both poignant and well-written. I'm sure your Grandads read it already and has raised a glass of lemonade to you!
(, Fri 4 Jul 2008, 20:04, closed)


(, Fri 4 Jul 2008, 20:23, closed)
*starts applauding*
Well written, sir

That was beautiful

(, Fri 4 Jul 2008, 21:48, closed)
dude... *click*
Lately i've been thinking about death and what it would be like, and it got me scared (21 years old and i'm saying that, fcuk me i'm sound emo)

Thanks to that story and epilogue it led up to, i'm not scared, i'm happy and prepared (to an extent, i don't have a funeral plan etc)
(, Fri 4 Jul 2008, 23:45, closed)
Hang on
Your Grandad died so your Uncle came back from the dead even though he wasn't dead?
(, Sat 5 Jul 2008, 1:34, closed)
I can only repeat
what others before me have said. This was a profoundly moving story.

I think you summed up my feelings about the subject perfectly too.

(, Sat 5 Jul 2008, 1:41, closed)
Thank you
for all your responses - I'm chuffed to read them and glad you liked my little emotive entry despite the lack of funny content!

More japes of poo and sex shenanigans soon!
(, Sat 5 Jul 2008, 15:48, closed)
was really touching

(, Mon 7 Jul 2008, 11:01, closed)
Great story thanks for sharing :)
(, Wed 9 Jul 2008, 17:06, closed)

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