Alan Smithee

Grief and the Simpsons

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This week, I had a fairly significant event happen in my life, one that makes for a sea change in the way that I think about my own mortality and one that could just about kick off a midlife crisis. My last grandpa passed away. I won’t go into details about the wheres and whys but suffice it to say that I now worry about all of that second hand smoke from when I was young and EVERYONE smoked.


I’ll fondly remember my grandpa as he was the only one that I had as I didn’t ever get to know my mother’s side of the family all too well considering we never visited. My dad’s side of the family though, we’d visit very regularly and even had the distinct pleasure of living under their roof for a year or so as my old man retired from his life in the military and we transitioned from deep-fried southern family into the Utah family we are now.

The sense of loss I’m feeling is one of how I now am missing a significant character in my sitcom of a life, one that I’m quickly rolling through my roles in. As the brainy younger sibling I was a natural Lisa Simpson of the family which quickly devolved into a unwilling Homer Simpson as I assumed the mantle of father and husband. Now I too have kids and I know that before I have the time to realize it, they’ll be adults and going through the same existential crises that I’m facing.

I lost my Abraham Simpson when I lost my grandpa. I’m without comic relief in the form of curmudgeonly old-speak or coloful language based on how backwards and different the world is compared to the one that existed in his youth. I never again will be able to hear “That’s the Democrats for you” coming from his extremely right leaning views, I’ll never get back those times where we were thick as thieves when it came to teaming up against the parental units.

Maybe I shouldn’t look at it as me losing one character but more as a shift in paradigm where I’ve lost a label but will gain many more in the future. I’ve lost the grandchild label from that one person, but have gained dad and will most likely gain grandpa from my own kids’ kids. Like I said earlier, I’ve gone from Lisa to Homer in one generation, will I become Abe or will I be a atheist version of Ned Flanders (don’t forget he’s a senior citizen!)? Maybe we can all become Max Power and less of the Kirk Van Houten as we age gracefully. All I know is that I do not want to be the next Duffman or even Colonel Leslie “Hap” Hapablap.

grandpa simpson_trick

It’s an odd sensation to know that now my dad is “on-deck” and I’m his second in succession — not counting my brother who will more than likely pass before either of us, haha. All I can see is that one day I too will become my own Abraham Simpson and find myself cursing the new technology and how the youth seem to be more lazy. For that day I can wait. I can only hope that the Simpson’s is still on the air somewhere so I can visit my friends in Springfield.

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