Letters to Grandfather

A semi-autobiographical story. Sarah Phillips's grandfather has just passed away. She copes with the loss by writing in a diary like she is writing to him.


4. 25 September 2013

Dear Grandad,

It’s been a week since your funeral.  For the most part I don’t think very much has changed, though a couple of times I catch myself going to my e-mail and looking for a message from you or about to send one to you, or asking Mum or Dad when we’re going to visit you.

From what Dad’s said, Granny has all but moved in with Aunty Joan and Uncle Victor.  Dad says she’s doing better, though some days she can’t seem to stop crying.

I went back to school the Friday after your funeral.  Professor Petersen said that I could have taken the day off, but I insisted on getting straight back into things.  I already have two assignments that need to be handed in next week, though they are doable.  Not for the first time I’m glad I live at home and that the university is conveniently a bus ride and a walk away.  I don’t like going there by car, because of the traffic and how expensive the parking is.

I would have loved it if you had been able to see me graduate with my Masters, but I guess I can only be grateful you saw me graduate with my undergraduate degree.

Anyway, my best friend Lizzie, I’m sure you remember me mentioning her before, invited me out for drinks at the weekend.  When I asked Mum and Dad if I could go, they practically pushed me out the door.  “Spend some time with your friends instead of staying in your room all weekend,” they said.

We had fun.  I didn’t drink very much, just a Kopperburg and a Blue Lagoon; the rest was juice and Coca Cola.  I know you worried about me not going out and having fun like my cousins, but you know I have always been more of a stay at home person.  I don’t mind going out every now and then for drinks and a chat, but I really don’t like going to clubs and drinking excessively like some of the other students.

Do you remember on my 18th birthday she and our other friend, Ella, tried to get me drunk?  And in the end it was Ella that was drunk and Lizzie was only tipsy whilst I was completely sober.  I can recall the exact words that you said when I told you the tale, “I certainly hope you don’t go all out and drink yourself into a stupor like your friend did.”  Dad laughed when he overheard that and replied that there was very little chance of that happy, that “I hadn’t a wild bone in my body.”

I’m laughing as I write this.  The days were so carefree back then.  Now it feels like there’s a grey cloud over the world.

You’re probably reading this and thinking that I’m being overdramatic.  You and Dad would both tease me when I would write something like this.  I can almost hear you dryly agreeing with what Dad would say and smiling with that crooked smile of yours.

Oh, now I’m crying again.

I think that’s enough for tonight.  I’ll write again soon.




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