Selph, Don A…R.I.P.

He’s gone.

He has been for a week now.

I’m having difficulty writing this because I don’t know what to say. Part of me has let go and the other part of me is still waiting for him to open the door behind me and ask if I’m alright.

He’d probably tell me to come inside. These mosquitoes are eatin’ me up.

As I sit on his back porch, lightning flashing against the mountains, I have to tell you that my Papa was one of the kindest men alive. He had no bones to pick with anyone. He would be the first to shake your hand, flash a grin, tell ya ‘mornin’. He’d give you what you need and then more. He had a heart of gold.

As I sit here listening to Bon Iver play against the sound of falling rain, I have to tell you that he was a man full of love and patience. He’s been married to my grandmother for 56 years. He’s loved her softly and tenderly every step of the way. He did the same with my mom, my aunt, and us grand-kids.

As I sit here taking in the cool mountain air, I have to tell you that he suffered well. He passed away at the hands of a blood cancer that slowly evaporated the blood in his bones, starving out his organs. Every moment of excruciating pain was followed by a, “God is good.” He knew his final resting place. He knew that the moment he closed his eyes, he would open them to see Jesus in all of his glory.

My words are shallow. There are a million other people in this world that could type you a more beautiful, elegant letter in lieu of his passing, but I can’t. At least I don’t feel like I can.

The last week has taught me an incredible amount about grief; and people, too.

Grief is inescapable. It hits you in a myriad of ways. Anger, sorrow, numbness, joy. I’ve sat in my room staring at the walls wishing for relief. I’ve looked at pictures of him and screamed. I’ve thought of where He is now, experiencing no more pain, and I rejoiced.

It wasn’t until yesterday, seeing his body and celebrating his legacy, that I truly let the tears go. It wasn’t until Wednesday afternoon, walking into his house and him not being there, that it finally set in that he was gone.

I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that he’s gone. It’s not that I wish for him back. I wanted him to be free of pain. I wanted him to be able to go to heaven. I didn’t want him to stay and suffer. It’s just that I can’t logically explain how a man that was one of my best friends is no longer there to hug me.

I can’t fathom it.

I don’t want to.

Grief is like a raging storm that doesn’t break.

I’ve learned a lot about people this week, too.

There have been so many that have poured into our family. Whether it was through condolences, food, prayers, listening ears, there were many of you who were there. Your graciousness, love, and compassion is a healing salve to our broken hearts.

Thank you.

I’ve also learned that there are those who, when put bluntly, don’t care. Sometimes those people were ones you’d never expect. Sometimes I wasn’t surprised. This week has been eye opening for me because it made me realize who I can, and cannot, rely upon.

I can’t say that I’m not hurt. I can’t say that I’m not shocked. I’ve reached out to some people in an effort to salvage our friendship, but others I haven’t because I feel it’s useless. So, I suppose I can’t complain.

My mind has been in a million places these last few days. I’ve not been active on this site and that will probably stay that way. Much of my social media will be disappearing soon.

One thing that has become prevalent in my mind through all of this is how much I hate social media, how much I hate the culture of it all. It’s shallow, meaningless, without purpose. I want something more substantial.

I need to stop pouring my mind onto this page. I’m going to get myself into trouble.

I’ve been blown away by the support I have received from this WordPress community. You all are some of my closest friends, and I’ve never even met you physically. That astounds me.


Papa, you were (are) loved more than you could ever imagine. I’ll see you soon, but for now, know that I live with your memory. You fought the good fight, and will forever be an example for me. I miss you so much.

I love you.

4 Replies to “Selph, Don A…R.I.P.”

  1. This is beautifully written, Matty. You grandfather sounds like a great man. He may be physically gone, but there’s no doubt his legacy will live on through you (and his other children/grandchildren, I’m sure).


  2. Hi Matt,
    Sorry to hear that your grandfather passed away. Yes, life is full of loss, but also full of joy. We live our lives in the grace of God. He makes all things possible, even our comforting by the Holy Spirit. I think we must rely on God more and more for our needs and look to people less and less. It’s not that people don’t care, it’s that they can’t do anything about it. They may not have the emotional capacity or strength to reach out and help. This is not the situation with God and so he is the one we look to. The Bible says that we live life as a fleeting moment. We need to remember this. It sounds like your grandfather did things right in his life. That is a huge blessing!


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