Monday, March 17, 2008

Death

On Thursday the 13th of March, my grandfather, Morris Greenberg, moved on from this world. Zayde, I don't think I ever called him Morris, was a hard man, who lived a hard life. He was loved and hated, often by the same people, and he moved within a cloud of divisiveness and anger that I have never seen in another. He did irreparable harm to my family, scarring my mother, my aunts and uncles and tearing the family apart. But I believe that as hard as it was to deal with him, and as much as it cost all of us, he was just trying, in the only way that he knew how, to save us from threats he felt we could not perceive.

These threats and fears were born of Zaydes experiences in WWII. He was a hero, the real kind, who fought in World War II to end Nazi terror and save his own people from being wiped out. He was one of the first soldiers into Bergen Belsen, and his time there and across Europe painted the rest of his life with a dark, bleak brush. In a very real way, he gave up a great deal of his own future so that others could have some degree of happiness. The men who fought in this war, showed incredible bravery and sacrifice, and any remembrance of there lives would be hollow without recognizing this. So I believe that Zayde worked as hard as he could throughout his life to keep his family safe and healthy, in the only way he knew how. So despite the difficulties I have had with him, I think that I am a stronger and better person for having known him, and despite any disagreements we had, I loved him.

When I heard he died, I didn't cry. I haven't cried since the day after my mother died and am not so sure that I still cry, but I miss the feeling that he is here. When I saw the casket a few days later, I instinctively felt it was too small for his presence ... he was a huge man, a giant in my life even though I did not see him that often and did not know him as well as I would have liked to. He is gone, and I miss his presence ...

2 comments:

Heath said...
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Heath said...

PJ, this is a terrific entry. I'm sorry to hear of your Zayde's passing.