There are a few people in my life who made me feel like I could truly do anything. My Grandpa, Nick, was one of them. 
The funny thing about my Grandpa is that he was able to morph himself into whatever it was that one of us needed him for. 
Whether it was a disciplinarian, a role model, a "Poppy" or a friend-he always found a way to be there for us. 
For me, he was just Poppy. He was the guy who gave me Twizzlers and ice cream for breakfast. He was the guy who made sure I was wearing socks in the house so I wouldn't catch a cold and he was the guy who would always tell me that if I worked hard enough, I could be anything I wanted to. He was the only Grandpa I ever knew and he gave me more love than I could have asked for. 

In the last few days, I've read all about eulogies in efforts to find a way to honor him. What caught my eye was one article that explained how the tone of a eulogy will depend on the nature of the situation. For instance, if the loved one who has passed was young and died unexpectedly, the tone will be different than that of a Grandpa who lived to be a happy 90 years old. In other words, worst case scenario vs. best case scenario. 

Poppy was the best case. He was told in his 60's when his health problems first began that I he started to live a healthier lifestyle, he would have maybe 5-10 years left. Yet, he lived to see graduations, weddings, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and 7 months shy of 90 years old. 

He lived these years happily. He didn't need much. He was happiest when visiting with family, playing cards, cooking a big meal or watching the game on TV Even in the last few years, which were some of the hardest, he was a joy to be around. I loved to visit him ... even if it meant just sitting in silence ... because every once in a while he would look up at me, smile, and remind me that even though his mind may have forgotten, his heart never could. 

During this difficult time, it's important to remember that he was the best case scenario. He lived what we all hope to live. A long life, filled with family, friends, love and lots of laughter. However, one thing I've learned about grief I that we all seem to think the hardest times are the days immediately following the loss. But that's not true. The hardest times are in the moments when our loved one should be there and they're not. For me, those moments will come when I succeed and I can't call him to hear how proud he is of me. You will all have these moments too, though they will hit at different times because we all shared our own unique relationship with him. But it's in these moments that I ask you to allow the grief in. Let yourself feel it. Cry.Smile. Because it's also in these moments that he is closest to us. It's in these moments when he is in the deepest part of our hearts.  Over the course of the last few days one of the things I've seen written about him by several people was that he is a "legend" . I find this to be comforting because although it is cliche, the saying goes that "legends never die". Legends leave us with stories to be told through all eternity. I certainly feel that is what he has left us with - and so I ask - has he really left? He may not be here physically, but he will be here forever. He lives on each of us. In every story we tell. In every Giants game we watch. In every extra hug goodbye. In every antipasto we make. And in every loving memory we hold because like him, our hearts could never forget.

-Jen Lampe