A Letter to my Grandfather

A childhood photo of Melody Seraydarian with her late grandfather Krikor Seraydarian

Dear Dede,

When I was younger, I could never picture a life without you. Your solemn presence and aged wisdom seemed permanent, an unchanging facet of my world, and I was far too comfortable making a bed in the farthest alcove in my mind, a place where death was nonexistent and people lived forever. It was a place marked by the beauty of childlike wonder and purity, and I was more than willing to bask in the rays of innocence forever, but like most things, forever has an expiration date. 

I’m older now, so that alcove has long been burnt down and yesterday, its ruins struck a match and were up in flames once more when you quietly passed away. It was just like you to pass away in a dignified manner, without making a fuss or causing a scene, and that, in a bizarre way, made it all the more dismal. 

I choose to remember the good and by doing so, I recognize that you will truly never be gone; a mirror of the best traits a man can possess lives on everyday in the shape of my father, who has placed his family’s security at the forefront of his life, very much like you did. Leaving an established life in then-war torn Lebanon to build a new life in New York City brick by brick isn’t easy, yet you did it with grace and that distinct gravitas that everyone recognizes you for. It’s never easy to give up everything you have worked for, but you sacrificed it all for the sake of your family. Your dedication to your work and your humble path to success are some of your many qualities that directly translate with my father and I see those parallels every day. Now that you are gone, those qualities in him are more defined. Though he doesn’t talk about it much, I know he misses you. I hope you know that we all do.

Photo provided by Melody Seraydarian

Though every memory I remember and every story I’ve heard about you has molded my perception of you, these past couple of months after your wife passed away will always stick out to me the most when I think about your character. You were serious, yet she was your soft spot and that fact explains the deep heartbreak you experienced. The love you had for her was so all-encompassing that when she left, a piece of you went with her. You were her kin, her closest friend, and her support system through each trial and tribulation, and the love you shared was so powerful that those hindrances you faced were broken down. 

I’m sorry this letter is short, but the wound is still fresh. Maybe I’ll come back to it one day and add more, but my feelings at this point in time are too new to be thorough. Nonetheless, I wish you Godspeed and hope you get home safely. I love you and miss you so much already and will do everything in my power to honor your life, your legacy and our family name. It feels like you’re still a phone call away.

Where did all the time go?

Your granddaughter,

Melody

In loving memory of Krikor Seraydarian (1935 – 2021)
Melody Seraydarian

Melody Seraydarian

Melody Seraydarian is a writer from Los Angeles, California. She is an active member of the AYF Hollywood “Musa Ler” Chapter. Melody also interns for the Armenian Bar Association and volunteers for various political causes and campaigns, while working on other writing and design projects.
Melody Seraydarian

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13 Comments

  1. Unger Krikor Seraydarian was an exemplary ARF member, and the ungers of California’s La Crescenta Zavarian Chapter were privileged to know him in the later years of his service. Melody, you wrote a beautiful tribute to your grandfather.

  2. This is a beautiful letter, Melody, and captures the connection and emotions that many of us grandchildren of immigrants experience. Thank you for your vulnerability and poetic writing.

  3. Your words are so comforting. He was lucky to have such a sweet, loving and understanding granddaughter.
    Good bless you

    • Melody ur r an angel send from heaven the word were unbelievable touchy u brought tears to my eyes God bless his soul ur great aunt now he is in peace

  4. Thank you for your wonderful letter. It touched my heart in a major way. Because of the Genocide, I grew up not knowing grandparents. My parents relationship with my children was very important to me as my relation ship with my grandchildren
    has been. At age 86 it may be possible to brag about a future great grandchild.
    The photo of your grandfather is almost identical to the image of my father working in his garden. It was touching!

  5. Such an inspiring tribute full of love, respect and
    admiration. Hold these memories close to your heart.
    Thank you for sharing.

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