Hiking Puako and Pololu and grief across time zones

Yesterday Cori, Laura and I went to the snorkeling beach near Hapuna. We got a bit caught up in conversation and the sun retreated behind the clouds so we didn’t swim very much. While Laura had a massage client, Cori and I wandered along the beach and hiked the trail in Puako, a large archaeological preserve highlighting the ancient petroglyphs carved into lava rock banks.

When we returned to the house for dinner, I got a voicemail message from my Dad telling me that Grandpa had died a few hours before. The six hour time difference made it too late for me to call him so I had to sit with this information until the next morning. I felt pretty numb that evening as I did my best to process his death so far away from the reality of it. I imagine I will have some trouble with it Saturday when they have the service and I’m not able to be there. I’ve always been there; I’ve always had that closure with my family. I’m not sure how that is going to play out for me. And of course, I’m concerned about Dad.

In his message, he was very matter of fact. “Your Grandfather died at 2pm Eastern Time. Don’t think that you need to come home. I’m fine.” All the same, I wish I could be there for the moments when he can’t hide that he’s not fine. I wish I could really believe that he is fine but I can’t believe that being fine when your father dies is necessarily all that healthy. I’d like to believe that he is processing his emotions even if he refuses to show them. That’s the only consolation I have, that somehow he is taking care of himself.

I wasn’t able to get in touch with my Grandma or Dad this morning so I went about my day in hopes of hearing from them later. Cori and I hiked into the Pololu valley; the beach was covered in rounded porous lava rocks and finely ground black sand and surrounded by a lush forest of ironwood trees. We went for a quick swim after the long hike in but the waves were fairly ferocious; I had some trouble getting my footing on the rocks getting out of the water as the force of the waves pushed me into them and then pulled the rocks over my feet as I was sucked back out. Afterwards, we wandered among the trees in the valley and into the thicker forest of the cliffs for a ways until we decided to conserve the rest of our energy for the hike out.

 

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