Last Wednesday I got a call from my mom saying that my step-grandfather was in the hospital. He had been in and out of the hospital for months, battling colon cancer and on the brink of kidney failure. He usually came out in a couple days, but this time they discovered his colon had burst. His health was declining rapidly and it seemed to my mom that his time was near.
From that day on we spent as much time as we could with him in the hospital, and watched as family and friends brought music and memories to his bedside in his final days.
Finally, on Saturday at 12:20, he passed as we sang him out of this world with Aloha ʻOe and Hawaiʻi Aloha.
Kahea Beckley had not been a part of our lives for very long. He met and married my grandmother four years ago. Their marriage brought her to Hilo, for which we were grateful. We had never lived close to our grandma who was always on Oʻahu, and it was awesome to be able to take a drive to see her. As we got to know Kahea, we grew to love him. He made grandma so happy, and she him.
This was the first time I had seen someone pass away, and to me, peaceful deaths that come at the end of a long full life feel a lot like birth. There is a certain hush and awe to see life enter the world, and to see life leave it. I'm honored to have been there.
Aloha ʻoe e Tūtū Kahea