Friday, June 17, 2011

Saying Goodbye (for now)

Last Wednesday I received the sad news that my Grandpa was being admitted to Hospice for congestive heart failure.

"Come soon if you want a chance to say goodbye." the Hospice Nurse warned.  My heart cried.

I'm a little over thirty years old and this is the first time that I have had to deal with losing a grandparent. My grandmothers (both sides) died when I was an infant, so I never had to face the pain of losing them.  Both of my grandfathers remarried wonderful women and I was blessed to be adopted by them as a granddaughter.

My Mom and I flew to Florida on Friday morning of last week, praying the whole way that he would know us. The nurses had told us that he was confused and sometimes didn't know anyone at all. We arrived without much expectation, but wanting to be there for his last days.

I count myself blessed to be related to such a kind, gentle man as my Grandpa.  When we arrived, he looked at us and smiled so big, I cried.  He reached over and lightly pulled us both close and was barely able to whisper the words, "I love you." and "Ah, my girls." We smothered him with kisses and held him close.
Grandpa and Me - December 2008

We spent all day and night that Friday with him. Soothing him when he was troubled and holding his hands.  I think that we were more blessed than he was.  We were able to tell him how much he meant to us and give only a small gesture of how much we loved him.  He was so weak, that talking was difficult so we used touch to convey our thoughts and love.  He's been hard of hearing for as long as I can remember, so I'm not sure how much he heard us say, but I do know that he caught our meaning by the sparkle in his blue eyes.

By Saturday, he was drifting away from this earth, caught somewhere in between here and heaven.  He lost all recognition of us and my Grandma and slept most of the time. I flew back home Saturday evening leaving my Mom to watch over him till the end.

Tuesday afternoon of this week, Grandpa passed through heaven's gate.  The parting is bittersweet.  There are moments when I ache from missing him and other moments when the joy that he is experiencing now come to mind.

Because of my and his relationship with Jesus Christ, I know that I will see him again. So while I had to say Goodbye for here on earth, I'm confident that it won't be Goodbye for long, only for now until I see him again.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Grandpa has entered the Everlasting Life of peace.  It's comforting to picture him there with my Savior waiting for me.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you are missing your grandpa. It has been a few years since I lost mine. He was the first person that I was REALLY close to that died. I appreciate your post. Reading it felt like one last hug between my Granddad and me. Close family is such a blessing :-)

Anonymous said...

Sheri, my heart aches for your loss. I remember losing my grandfather, who loved to garden, and the minister saying that there would no longer be weeds in heaven with him there. That gave me great comfort. As Christians, our journey on this earth is lived knowing that, one day, we will meet Jesus. What a comfort to know that his faithful life has been rewarded with an eternity with his Lord. Blessings as you remember and grieve.

Marci said...

Sharri, I am so sorry. It is one of the very hardest things to lose someone you love. Praying for your family. Praise the Lord you will see him again!!

Kristin said...

Love you Sheri!

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