My sweet Grammie slipped home yesterday. It’s hard to process what this means. Our minds don’t seem to be equipped to understand death. How someone can be so present and real and then truly absent from their earthly body?
As my Grandma lay in that hospital bed the last few days she was surrounded by those she loved best. They kept vigil with her through a day, a very long night and another very long day. It is so right to be surrounded by those you love as you step out of your earthly body. My Grandma lived a wonderful full long life. There is no sense of days being cut short, but more a beauty of a life well lived.
My Grandpa passed away three years before and the thought of joyous reunion is so glorious. As natural people, when we think of heaven, our minds go to those we know who have gone before. But lets be real. All of those people take a back seat when it comes to being face to face with the One who loves us the most and gave everything so that we could live forever with Him. I can only imagine it was the thing that completed Grammie. What incredible satisfaction and fullness to be with Him!
And here we wait. Us left behind. I indeed wept this week. Not as much for Grammie, but more for the ones she leaves. Saying goodbye, even for a season, is so hard. It felt impossible to me. I couldn’t say goodbye to my mom. A mother fills a place in you that no one else can. She is made to be a constant place of safety and protection. She is also made to speak truth – hard truth and yet life giving truth. She is the one you call and can call for no reason at all, or in the worst of times when all you have is deep sobs. So I ache for my dad. I ache for my aunts as they walk this road. It is paved with goodness as my Grammie loved them all fiercely and loyally. It is paved with sweet memories and funny ones, and they now will live with a mother shaped hole. In the best way possible. They have been loved so well. They will miss so well because of that love. And indeed it is not a forever separation. Oh the crazy joy that is set before us! Because. wow. Jesus. and everyone else will be sweet details to the incredible fullness we will know being with Him. What joy. What JOY we have. What hope!
And in the mean time we will allow the aching and hurt because we have been loved well by a beautiful person and we will miss her presence for a season. But we will continue to walk, resolved to love our children as well, Resolved to leave legacies as beautiful as she was. Resolved that our children will be loved so well that our absence will leave a hole but also an incredible joy in the hope ahead and the strength it brings.
I found that with my own Mom I couldn’t say goodbye in those last moments. There were no words. But in that hour after she passed i snuck back to her bedside and said all the things. All the things were really quite simple. How much I loved her and how deeply thankful I was for her love. Her love made me. In so many ways. Her love still gives me strength. I said goodbye to a shell. I said goodbye after she was gone because somehow when her spirit remained I knew it was never goodbye. It was just a “see you soon”.
So Grammie. I never said goodbye either. But what I want to say is that i love you and I am so thankful for the beautiful family you built and loved. Thank you for being such a strong woman and for loving Jesus with your life. Thank you for speaking of Him often. It is ingrained my head. We will miss you so. We will miss your pink nail polish and your beautiful hands and the glint in your eyes. We will miss the parcheesi games and the laughs and the smell of your perfume. I can’t wait to see you soon. Say hi to Mom, and Grandpa and baby Zeke and above all enjoy Him. We can’t wait to join the party.