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  • Writer's pictureXander Turian

My Grandad, In Loving Memory 1940-2019

I have experienced death before. When I was growing up I sadly had more than a few friends who took their own lives and have also been there for friends who have lost loved ones, attending funerals with them as support. Working with the Global Sobriety and anti-drug movement I have also experienced loss and grieving.

However, I have not had to deal with the personal loss of somebody in my family, until now.

My Grandfather was an incredible man. He was a Geologist and a Professor of Tectonics & Geodynamics, the father of 3 and Grandfather to 7. He spent a lot of his life in Sweden working at Uppsala University and retired from his chair and as Director of the Hans Ramberg Tectonic Laboratory, Professor Emeritus. This is the reason my mother was in Sweden and was able to meet my father therefore giving me the Swedish half of my roots.

As I am the eldest of all my cousins and the fact that I am the only one who ever lived and spent any longer periods of time in Sweden, I was very lucky to have a very close relationship with my Grandad. I have memories of him telling me the most amazing stories of adventures he had on his travels while doing research.

He had seen so much of the world and been to places that most only read about.

I always dreamt that I would interview him, record our discussions and write a book about his fascinating life and the stories he had to tell. Sadly, I did not take the time to follow up on that dream; however, I don’t mind as I got to spend a lot of time with him and I have stories and memories and a wealth of advice, knowledge, anecdotes and his sense of humour with which to fill my memory bank.

Our family on my mother’s side is very close but also incredibly independent. We all live quite spread out and travel a lot. The itchy feet and adventurous gene has been passed on.

These last few months and weeks have shown me that my family know how to prioritise and are always there for each other in times of need. When my Grandfather developed pneumonia and was sent to hospital, everyone took time from our separate lives to help out and be with him and my Mormor [Grandmother]. We all had the chance to say our good byes in our own way and were glad that he had been able to return from hospital and have a few happy and relatively “healthy” weeks in the comfort of his own home and on his favourite seat on the balcony watching life expand before him.

When I heard the news on Friday morning that my Grandad had died of a heart attack I was very sad. It was rather unexpected and sudden as he had seemed so much spryer only the Friday before when I had had lunch with him.

The weekend was spent with family eating and sharing stories and memories and just being together and discussing the plans for his End of Life Celebration. The sky on Friday was beautiful and he died at dawn with dignity in his own home, just the way he wanted.

His adventures continue, in one way or another – even if only in our memories – Never forgotten, Forever Loved.

My Grandad 1940 – 2019 - He meant a lot to me

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