We are created to live and then to depart from this Earth to be with our Savior in Heaven. God promises us an eternity of peace with Him. Even so, knowing this does not always ease the pain of losing someone you love.
My grandmother, who has suffered from Alzheimer’s for a number of years, is slipping away rather quickly now. In some ways, I feel relieved. She has not been herself for years.
My grandmother taught me many things about life. One lesson being that no matter the circumstances you keep moving forward.
Losing her father when she was 10 years old to a car accident was difficult. Then, she lost her mother in spirit as she could not cope. My grandmother was sent away to live with relatives. Her normal life was turned upside down.
Years later, she met the love of her life only to lose him to colon cancer. Widowed with five young children, the youngest two twins just two years old, she kept her head held high and did the best she could after the death of her beloved husband.
As a young child, I was in awe of my grandmother. She was strong, always faithful to the Lord. I would find her reading her Bible, hanging on to all of God’s promises. Every step she made, she walked with God, clinging to His mercy and grace.
We would go to church together. During the service, I would sit quietly watching her mouth prayers to God. She was constantly praying. Devoted, she would rise early in the mornings and get lost in her devotions to Jesus.
Never did she speak of her sorrows in a way that made you feel she had lost. In an inspiring way, she showed me that God can always bring you through.
My mother teaches my children through her faithfulness, as my grandmother taught me. I regretfully don’t know if my grandmother understands how much I respect her love for Jesus. Seeing someone unwaveringly lean on the Lord taught me that God can brings us through any storm safely.
Losing her has been a process; it has been heart-wrenching. I have one of her old Bibles where passages are carefully highlighted. I read them seeing where she needed the word of God to keep her whole.
We may never fully understand why we face the trials we do. But, through it all, we must learn to trust in God’s promises.
Even as my grandmother spends her last days with us, I like to think she is getting ready to go home. She will be whole again soon. She will no longer be burdened with disease.
Many years ago, I remember walking with her barefoot on the beach. We were searching for shells for a craft she was making. We both found the imperfect ones that she could not use beautiful and kept them as well. She smiled as the sun was setting and said, “All of God’s creations are beautiful, even if they seem imperfect to us, Honey”.
When I was a child, I would sneak in her room as she napped. I would put my head to her stomach and make sure she was still breathing. I was so scared of losing this woman who made me so happy. I would watch her chest rise and fall, relieved that her breath was still in her.
She would wake up and smile at me. It was a game we played. She would scoop me up in her arms and I would lay with her as she held me.
The relief I feel now is one grounded in the fact that she will be with the Savior she has walked with for her entire life.
Please pray for my family as we say goodbye to her, knowing that someday we will see her in Heaven smiling again.