I just got off the phone with my dad. My grandfather died tonight. I’ll know more tomorrow about when I have to return to North Dakota for the funeral.

We all knew it was just a matter of time, but it’s still difficult.

I’m performing a recital on Saturday here and one of the pieces was written as the composer lay dying of lung cancer. He couldn’t breathe, and the music is closely tied to that feeling. My grandfather was suffering from diminished lung capacity. He only had one lung left after battling lung cancer about 20 years ago. When I was there last week he only had 1/4 of his remaining lung functioning. He could barely speak because he just couldn’t catch his breath. He couldn’t think straight because his braing wasn’t getting oxygen.

I can’t help but draw parallels between the piece I’m to perform and my grandfather’s death. I’m not sure I can make it through it. This will be the most meaningful performance of my life.