My paternal grandfather passed away early this Sunday. He was 95. My mother's second husband died last month in a road accident. He was 62, I think (I can be quite bad with specific numbers).
My maternal grandfather passed away in 2008 after being in poor health for several years. In 2009, I lost my paternal grandmother. I remember that these two deaths had a deep impact on me, although in the first case it took time for that impact to show. Several months later, listening to something as over-exposed as The Byrds' cover of 'Turn Turn Turn' I surprised myself by bursting into tears at the words 'A time to be born/ a time to die/A time to plant, a time to reap/A time to kill, a time to heal/A time to laugh, a time to weep'. Qohelet certainly understood the weight of mortality. I was able to attend my grandmother's funeral, and I realised what a cathartic and healing experience a funeral is, for the living.