The night that our father died, I watched my brother Grant sit on the couch next to our dad’s hospice bed and pull our stepmother over to him. He held her while she sat there, her head resting on him, exhausted and too numb still for the grieve to fully sink in. It was one of the most tender acts I’ve ever seen Grant perform and, given the history of the Garcia family to my stepmother, it was a stunning gesture that I’ve never forgotten.
I grew up with Grant and Gilbert – the twins. While Gilbert and I were incredibly close, Grant and I were simply in each other’s orbit most of the time. We lived in a violent household with the twins taking the brunt of the abuse. And we each had our own personal hells as well. So when I say that Grant had a mean streak when it came to me, it isn’t with any anger or judgment towards him. We were all kids trying to survive the days the best we could. Grant and Gilbert endured far more than any humans should and they did it as children.
While my time around Grant as adults has been limited, I’ve developed a deep compassion for him over the decades. He has been nothing but loving and caring in the few times we’ve been in each other’s space. And I’ve often stalked him on Facebook and watched as he continued to build an amazing relationship with his own son, Sebastian. How he and Gilbert both found the depth within themselves to be such loving and doting fathers is a mystery to me. But their kids have been their worlds and it’s been incredible to witness the fathers they have each become.
We lost Grant to Covid this morning. And I feel like a piece of who I am is gone. I didn’t know I would feel this way. My heart is broken for my brother Gilbert who has truly lost a part of his soul. Gilbert has always been the protector and would often put himself between Grant and harms way. Gil’s love has never known any boundary or betrayal that it could not cross to be there for Grant. (And for me, for that matter.) Gil, I’m holding you in so much love right now.
May Grant find some peace.
May his son Sebastian hold on to the best of who his father was and forgive anything that fell short.
May Gilbert find the strength he has given to others to help him carry on.
May we all find whatever it was that allowed Grant to have compassion towards my mom in her moment of grief, despite all of their histories.
That’s how I will remember my brother Grant.