Wayne Benfell Gold
March 13, 1924 - May 25, 2010
I didn't know much about my Grandfather. To me he was a man amongst men. A manly man who loved hunting, fishing, hiking, camping... anything to do with the outdoors, really. I can't recall any time that he spoke ill about anyone. He always had some constructive criticism or advice, not unwanted, to give. One of the last things I remember him saying to me was advice on how to get a girl. He didn't tell me to play games, or show off to attract their attention. He told me to make sure they know that you care about them and that they can feel safe having you around. Easy for him to say. That's another blog post for another time, though. My grandpa must have known something about the subject because he was married to my Grandmother for 53 years. If my he was wonderful she was absolutely amazing.
The reason I'm writing this is because a friend of mine lost her "Papa" this week. I didn't know what to say to her when she told me he might not make it through the weekend. Today a facebook post told me that he had passed. I hadn't attempted to say anything to her about it between the awkward "I'm sorry" response and just about an hour ago when I saw her post. I wish I had the words. Religious people always have the seemingly packaged responses such as: "He/she's in a better place now", "You'll see them again" or something like "He and so-and-so are probably looking down on us now". Nothing like that is fitting for the non-religious types. In person I'd just offer a hug, that usually takes the place of possibly empty words most of the time.
I don't deal well with death. When I was a kid, around 4 or 5 I remember waking up from a sound sleep terrified at the thought of one day dying. In tears I ran to find my mom, bawling my eyes out yelling "I don't want to die!". I can imagine my mom thinking something terrible had happened, "what's wrong with this kid!". I've come to terms with it but I still get uneasy at the thought of ceasing to exist.