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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It had to be written....

I had to write this.  
Just as part of my own healing.

I had to say good-bye.  
Not just a see ya' later.  
A permanent kind of goodbye.

The good part was I got to say it in the living now.  
And for that I will be forever grateful.

My grandfather on my mother's side passed away on Sunday 12/11/11.  His health had been declining prior to his passing so I was lucky enough to make sure I could visit him one last time.   It was a day mixed with wonderful and also heartbreaking realizations.

It was a trip I made alone.  
No Hubsy, no kids.  
And even the drive itself was remarkable.  
Frost covered all of the trees and grasses, there was fog....and yet the sun was shining, 
glistening off the frost.  
It had a very other-worldy feel to it.

I arrived at the nursing home to meet my mother who has been caring for my grandpa.  When I first walked in the room my only thought was "that can't be him".  He had lost so much weight, but when I looked at his face it was him alright.  The nurses came in to give my mom an update.  As they tried to adjust him in the bed it really started to hit me just how frail he had become.  I could not stop the tears from falling.  I tried to be quiet, I did not want him to hear me crying for him.  Finally I excused myself to the bathroom just to go ahead and let it out.  Trying to choke off the emotions often makes it all the harder.  After I had myself a good cry I went back into the room.  

A nurse came in that was not assigned to my grandfather that day but she just wanted to see how he was doing and she helped out even though she didn't need to.  My mom was sitting on the side of his bed trying to give him some water.  All he wanted was water to quench his terrible thirst but even that was difficult.  He was able to speak to my mom though I could not understand much of what he was saying.  But she has been with him.  She was able to make out what he was saying much the way a mother is sometimes the only one who can interpret her little one's speech.  I can't express how happy I was to hear him speak.  The sound of his voice was such a comfort to me it didn't matter that I could not understand him.  I got to hear it again and that was beyond precious.  I watched as my mom tried to answer his needs and provide him any comfort she could.  This business of helping one reach the end of their life here on earth is so unbelievably important. I know what it is like to be cared for by my mother and I was totally struck by my gratitude that he had her to help him through this time.  
It truly was like watching an angel.  
God used my mom to provide some peace for him.  
It was beautiful.

As the time approached for me to leave, I was so reluctant to go. 
The finality was really wearing down on me.  
I looked into his blue eyes and kissed his forehead.
My mother handled that with absolute graciousness too.  Helping me with the best thing to say and comforting me after I left the room and headed to my car.  How she had the strength to be there for me in my grief after what all she has been through in the past several months I don't know.  
But she is strong.
One of the strongest I have ever known.
I guess God just gives you what you need to get through it, even if she didn't feel very strong at the time.

I've said goodbye to lots of people in my life, and many were probably for the last time.  But knowing it is the last time makes all the difference.  It was one of the hardest days I've had and yet I am immeasurably grateful to have had it.

May he rest peacefully in the arms of Jesus.
No more pain.
No more worry.
Simply surrounded by love.


  1. I'm sorry for your loss, Krista. :( But praise the Lord he's going to a better place! Glad you got the closure you needed. Hugs, friend!

  2. Big hugs sweet friend. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you were able to say goodbye.

  3. I am so so sorry for your loss, Krista. Sending you a virtual hug and wishing I could send more than that. Please don't hesitate to ask if you need something or someone to talk to. And we can always just chat about non-life stuff to distract you :) Either way, I'm here for you!


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