Last night I found out my paternal grandmother died through a text from my mom. It was 9:59pm. I read the screen, paused, put the phone down, and turned to get comfortable in my bed.
I woke up this morning, reread the text and still had no answer. I knew I was supposed to say something. I put the phone down again and got into a hot shower.
I text my sister while riding the elevator to the 2nd floor.
"Did mom text you?"
"Yeah, I tried to get her to focus on how [Name] must be feeling. She was still his mom."
"I didn't respond. I felt like she wanted me to say something."
"Well... I mean, you would feel bad for a stranger losing their mom, its the same thing with [Name]. I feel bad for anyone who loses there parents, but she was 87. So it was good run."
"I mean I feel bad. My first thought was "that sucks" then I thought I should feel worse or something. 87 is a good run."
"Why should you feel anything else? You didn't really know her. Just tell mom it's sad. That's it."
I walked to class and thought, Yeah, that's it.
I did not grow up with my dad. And, even as I typed this I thought it was interesting my sister refers to him by his name and doesn't say 'your dad'. I'm glad she does that. The words my dad feel foreign in my mouth as if the syllabus were ones I had never said before. They feel foreign to type.
I've been mulling over the conversation and realize that it bothers me more that her death, how he feels, doesn't make me feel much. I almost wish it bothered me more. Maybe made me want to pick of the phone to give me condolences, but it doesn't. I'm not sure if that makes me a bad person. I hope that wanting to feel bad balances things out, but then that thought to makes me feel selfish. I guess the real question is:
How should one feel about a father, a family, that has never tangibly existed?