My paternal grandfather was the one grandparent of all four whom I was the most attached to. I did spend a lot of time with my other grandfather too, until he passed away back in 1991, but somehow never developed the kind of attachment, the kind of fondness, the same sort of relationship.
My grandfather took my brother and me out to the neighbourhood park in the evenings. Sometimes it was my grandmother who did that, sometimes it was both of them. He went with us to the PTA meetings at school when my dad could not take time off from work. My mom could hardly ever make it to those meetings because she was a schoolteacher herself and often had a PTA meeting at her own school on the same days.
My grandfather would often secretly give us extra pocket money without telling my grandmother. He would play with us inside and outside the house to the extent that he could. He was a talented athlete in his day, but weighed down by arthritis in all the years that I knew him. He would sit in the veranda of the house, sipping his tea, reading his paper, and talking to us in the mornings before school.
In recent years, he had been in and out of hospital for serious health issues often enough for us to be kind of mentally prepared for the impending eventuality. But you never know how well prepared you are until it actually happens. It hasn't really sunk in for me, even though it has been four days now. Because I'm so far away from my family. I haven't seen what the house is like without him. I haven't attended a family gathering when he was not there. I haven't really had a chance to say goodbye.