My grandfather

Last night my paternal grandfather passed away.

He got to be the age of 90, and was, more or less, healthy until this Christmas, when cancer started to spread rapidly in him. Monday evening, he was rushed to the hospital, and last night his body gave up.

Currently, I work outside of Stockholm, but was in the city yesterday morning for a meeting. I considered visiting him at the hospital, but stupid lazy me thought it was best to get back to work. I mean, I could see him any other day, right?

I despise myself.

A very rich life

What comforts me a little, though, is that he had an extremely rich life, probably more than any other person I have ever known. He was never driven by the norms laid upon us by society and how we “should” behave. Instead, creativity and passion were the pillars his life rested on, and I respect him extensively for that.

All the stories I heard from/about him really made me dream about how one should live life. He was always happy, keen for new adventures, and he truly enjoyed life to the fullest.

I spoke to my brother last night, and I said that, instead of a funeral, we should rather do something in line with El Día de los Muertos, because that would be more fitting. Celebrate that we had the opportunity to share our short lives with such a fantastic person.

I miss you, grandpa. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.


  • OJ says:

    I'm sorry for your loss mate. All the best.

  • Deborah says:

    My prayers go out to you and your family. Your grandfather sounds like he had a remarkable life.

  • I'm sorry for your loss Robert.

    You shouldn't beat yourself up about not visiting your grandfather.

    There is no way you could have known and it doesn't make you any less of a person because you didn't.

  • George says:

    Don't hate yourself. Death never comes at a good time and what it leaves behind is far more important. It sounds like he left something remarkable and I hope you celebrate it.

  • I am sorry for you and your family's loss, Robert. I wish all of you the strength you need in these times. I'd also like to agree with Mats and George, death indeed never comes at a good time.

    May he live on in your memories.

  • Nathan Smith says:

    Robert: Sorry for your loss. Don't beat yourself up about it. I'm glad you're able to reflect and celebrate the joy that was his life.

  • Pat says:

    I second everything said above.. it's hard enough losing a family member and on top also being upset with yourself… your grandpa sounds like the type of person who wouldn't want that.

    My deepest condolences Robert to you and the family. He will live on in your memories, and your festival idea sounds fitting for a man of such stature.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Thank you. It probably is our baggage to carry, but at the same time I do think it’s there as a reminder to us to choose the important thing in life.

    I’m truly sorry about your father.


    I can understand how hard that must be. My grandfather never got to meet my youngest daughter either, since we hadn’t seen each other in a while.

    We definitely should count or blessings, and start appreciating what we do have. Don’t take anything for granted.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate it.

    I think it's very common to blame oneself, going through the what-if scenarios. Mostly why I blame myself is that I knew it was bad, so I think I should have taken it in a bit more.

    I started pondering about our priorities in life; what we choose to do and what we postpone. And I seriously think that we should start spending more time together with, and be there, for our loved ones, than putting a lot of time into things that won't even matter in a week.

  • Steven Clark says:

    Sorry for your loss Robert. We really can't take tomorrow as a given, we're temporary beings on the planet. Keep an eye on your work / life balance and never miss that opportunity to tell your family that you care.

    And don't be so rough with yourself. I have a similar memory from my father's death about six years ago. He rang on my mobile the day before and I was worried about his phone bill so passed him off. He went into hospital that night and I could have gone to be there the next day (he died in the afternoon) but I was assuring myself he'd be alright.

    I think this is the baggage of being grown up to have regrets.

  • Ahhh… but you were there for him. Your life is a testament to his achievement.

    Consider yourself lucky that you got to see him recently. My grandfather is 88 living with my family in Canada and since I've been living in New Zealand, I haven't seen him for 3 years. I have a 4 month old daughter that he has never seen. He's in good health but at that age, one never knows.

    Count your blessings.

  • I'm sorry for your loss, Robert. People in the comments say very true things, I'm not sure what to add.

    It seems to me your grandfather lived a happy life, I'd keep that in mind at all times, if I were you. Death's a crucial part of life and it's our job to make the best of it until then, and it looks like your grandfather did a great job in that regard.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Thank you!

  • Rex Jiang says:

    MY grandpa is old and i am spending every second of his last days with him because after hearing your story i know how to appreciate my loved ones

    wish you peace and happiness with your loved ones

  • Robert Nyman says:


    That sounds like a very good and compassionate decision. All the best to you two.

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