Welcome to the latest Vent Sesh. This week’s topic: Passing away.

My grandfather passed away last Thursday morning after battling congestive heart failure.  {I’m not telling you this to be flooded with condolences. I’m sharing this because it’s something every average, real gal gets and has likely death with in their own circle. With life comes death.}

With my grandfather, word quickly spread and just one day later, every seat was filled in the funeral home. My grandpa touched that many lives. I feel grateful to have known him.

Until last week, all four of my grandparents were still alive, all just 30 minutes from me. I was a lucky girl (I still am). Now it’s three and with it comes the realization that sadly, as we get older, so do others we love.  While I am grateful my grandfather no longer has to suffer, that’s where my gratefulness ends. Death brings about it so much emotion, grief, confusion, questions of why, tears, smiles from the happy moments and idle chit-chat oddly when you feel like talking the least.

With the question of death comes all sorts of challenging questions to answer about yourself and to discover about loved ones. What are your final wishes? Will you be asked to implement those of your loved ones? Even with a living will (which I highly recommend), there are still questions. We left my grandfather last Tuesday night in the hospital with no anticipation that he would go into cardiac shock three times. Without his paperwork yet, the doctors revived him each time. The next day we sat by his bedside, tubes everywhere, in front of a sedated man who was just the shell of the strong man I knew. That night/early morning when he went into cardiac shock again, the doctors had his wishes. It was his time though how can we ever be ready?

There are things that always resonate about my grandfather: his model airplane collection, passion for politics, love of his family (he was married to my grandma 60 years), and his passion for SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) where he would help budding entrepreneurs strategic create business plans and prepare for success. He knew what he was talking about. He had a succesful clothing shop in New York for many years. In addition to feeling proud about his two daughters, five grandchildren and two great-granddaughters, I absolutely know he felt such pride that this granddaughter had become an entrepreneur as well. He was passionate about my profession in public relations and marketing, even chatting with me about area reporters he befriended. And, he beamed with each new client I told him about. He makes me that much more determined to build my business (and blog!).

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to prioritize, to spend more time with all of my grandparents and family. I have done a better job however my grandfather’s passing is a reminder that perhaps I’m still not doing a good enough job. Could I ever? I’m not sure, yet I’m determined to try. My husband’s grandparents deserve the same. I’m just glad I visited him last Tuesday night when I was told there was no need. We sat alone for a few minutes and he told me I was remarkable. I’ll never forget.

I — along with my cousins — learned a few really interesting things about my grandfather at his funeral. I wish I had taken the time to hear it directly from him.