I have honored both my grandmother and grandfather through eulogies. Those eulogies I wrote were both true, I did not lie about my feelings, I did not invoke imagery I did not relate to, but I was only able to speak of them individually, and I was not able to invoke some personal imagery because it likely would have been lost on many of the people there to pay their respects.
My favorite book is Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, a novel that shaped both the way I think and feel and also the way I read and write. The religion central to the story is called Bokononism, and I have always felt a little drawn to that philosophy. It places an emphasis on the absurdity of everything, which seems fitting for a fictional religion. It even has it’s own vocabulary to go with it.
A karass is a group of people who are inexplicably drawn to together, people who are linked cosmically even if the reason is not apparent.
A duprass is a two person karass. Soul mates. Two people who need no one else to complete their group. They usually die within a week of each other.
In this time, where I am still grieving, I fall back on this. My grandparents together were members of a duprass. Sure, my grandmother may have lasted more than a week after my grandfather, but I know that he is why she died.
I had been selfish in my thinking. I wanted so desperately to be enough to keep her going. I knew I could not save my grandfather; age had hurt both his mind and body. My grandmother was of sound mind and moderate body. I tried to bait her on, waving the carrot in front of her nose. If she could just make it to the wedding, the wedding we have no date for, the wedding we’ve been trying to plan around their health, the wedding that has been so hard to conceptualize when one person is unemployed and both people are still exhausted from a whirlwind move and entry into an established social scene.
I have the pain that I was not enough to hold on for, but thinking of my grandparents as their own duprass, their own self-contained unit, helps. They needed each other. For balance, for comfort, for peace. I have the guilt that we did not move sooner, that I lost my opportunity to have them at our special day. I have anger, that I left a wonderful geographic area and moved across the country and am now only an hour away from my mother and all her passive aggression when all I really wanted was to be close to the grandparents I no longer have. (I must keep reminding myself though, that this move is also related to a job opportunity I just wasn’t finding in the PNW and I do love the work I’m doing now). I must take comfort knowing that they got to meet Manbeast, and get to know each other at least a little bit. They never outright said that they approved of our relationship, but the fact that they never actively complained about it meant the did.
I know they are not looking down on me now, and they won’t be at my wedding in any capacity. They are simply gone and I must navigate the world without them, and that is a daunting prospect. I also know they would not want me to dwell on the regrets I have, the time not spent, the events they won’t witness, because I know that this death is what they would have wanted, because a duprass can not exist on its own.