Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Loss, Her Gain...

Today was a tough day for our family. We lost Justin's sweet grandmother, Jo, this morning. She had been put on hospice just yesterday morning and none of us were expecting her to pass away so quickly. We were all able to be there last night, and though she was sleeping, we at least got to see her one last time. The strangest part was that J and the kids and I had just been there a week ago visiting her at the assisted living home she had lived at for the past year. And she was doing really well. We were having lots of great laughs and talks as the kids were entertaining us as always. She really loved our kids. And, she always really loved us. I lost my last grandparent several years ago, but always felt as though Nammy was my own, too.

She was one of those people who is incredibly real, charming, and makes friends wherever she went. She taught elementary school for many years (and would still have former second graders stay in touch as adults), raised 4 great kids, doted on 9 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She had already started knitting for our little one on the way. She was so spunky and really truly cared about us all. I always loved being able to talk to her about parenting and teaching and hear her candid responses. She was an incredible woman, and her legacy definitely lives on in the lives of her children, grandchildren, and hopefully, great-grandchildren.

I was really nervous about sharing with the kids about her passing away. I knew I couldn't avoid it for long because they would be asking about her and wanting to visit. They got very serious when I began talking about it. They asked a lot of questions...primarily how she got to heaven. They speculated that maybe she went on a roller coaster, but then settled on the fact that Jesus carried her there. They were relieved to hear that heaven is more wonderful than any other place because you get to be with Jesus...and they were glad to know that Jesus had healed all of her "owies" and that there would be food in heaven, too. They talked about her probably dancing there because she wouldn't have to worry about her knees. T was still unsure why she couldn't just come to lunch with us today because Jesus had healed her and he wanted to see her.

And they talked a lot about how someday all of us would get to see her there again. B knew Nana (my mother-in-law) must be sad because she misses her mom and dad now, but we talked about how happy she is that Nammy is with Jesus. And really we all are. As I sit here, I am not sad for her one bit, only for us. And I am thankful for the saving grace of Christ that makes us not need to be sad or afraid. So, all in all, I was amazed at how well the kids took it and seemed to understand as best they could. I hope that Nammy knew how much she will be missed.

"I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (NIV)

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I felt the same way when my Grandparents died. I wasn't sad for them, just us.