He'd been in hospital for the past six weeks after being given a life expectancy of just a week. Though he'd been in pain for the last few days, he died in his sleep. We'd known that this was a possibility since January, when he started chemotherapy. The doctors were amazed that he lived as long as he did.
My great-grandmother, the only other member of my immediate family to die while I have been alive, was ninety-three years old when she went. My grandfather was eighty-odd. As a family we're not so much born as assembled in a shipyard, from fucking girders.
Up until now, I've had a full complement of grandparents. It's strange thinking that one's gone, and the others will all go soon as well — my paternal grandparents have angina and Parkinson's disease respectively, and my maternal grandmother has become increasingly immobile.
My grandparents are by turns where I acquired a sense of humour drier than the best martini, and where I learned that there was no crime in laughing at stupidity wherever it presented itself.
I want a cigarette. More than that, I want one last whisky with him. The glass I raise tonight I drink in his name.