Georges funeral was on thursday. This is what I tried to say. A lucky few people understood what I was saying through the tears.

Until I went to school, I had no idea what a “grandfather” was. There was Nana, and there was George. He was my friend.

A friend who loved and supported me throughout my life. He was never a “grandfather” in the common mold. He was more likely to play classical music than play games, would rather watch Wimbledon than throw a ball, hand me a novel rather than read me a bedtime story.

He was never overly free with praise. Yet a backhanded compliment from George was more treasured than the highest praise from another.

He was taciturn, grave and grumpy, but he was also the best dinner companion, the best trivial pursuit player, a brilliant photographer, accomplished painter, even a very competent forger. Anyone who knew him knows he cannot be explained, understood, labelled. He will also never be replaced, and never forgotten.

George was the smartest, wittiest, most educated (though he would have laughed at that), most creative person I have known. He could taste any dish once, name the ingredients, and replicate it perfectly. He once created a wonderful meal from baked beans and TVP.

He lived a wonderful, bohemian, exotic life, knew glamorous people, and introduced me to them as his “friend”. Adam says he’s never known a seventy year old with so many ladyfriends.

His only regret about dying was that it would upset those around him. I was upset that he would even consider dying. How could a man with so much life, so many passions, not continue to do those things forever. I couldn’t, wouldn’t give up on him.

So I have an apology to make. George, I am sorry I couldn’t let you go. I’ll look back and celebrate the wonderful love you gave, but I’ll never stop missing you.

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