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  • This is Alvin, my grandfather, at the end of October, posing for my ipod touch with his nurse. He died 3 months later in January, 2012.

    In November, he moved back to his home on long island. I visited him and my grandmother every Sunday up until he died. During my visits, he didn't want to talk about anything serious, had no desire to address the fact that he was dying, or to discuss how people, like myself, might feel about this. So my visits catered to his needs. I entertained him by talking about my work as a therapist. We watched T.V. We watched movies. But we never discussed him being sick, or how he- or I- might feel about this. As a therapist, this was excrutiatingly difficult for me to do.

    Still, despite our differences, I continued to refer to him as my "soul mate," as he was a Pisces, and I, a Scorpio- the perfect astrological combination. "Hey Soul Mate," he'd say, when I walked into his sitting room, which had become the hub of his existence, after his mobility deteriorated. "Hey Soul Mate," I'd utter back. Anyone who knew us knew how completely incompatible we were.

    And yet, I was his oldest grandchild and he was Alvin, my grandfather.
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