My grandfather passed away two and a half years ago. Death is always hard to handle, but sometimes, things happen that make it a little easier to bear.
It was mid-afternoon. The family was gathered around his bedside. My grandmother, his children and grandchildren, extended family that thought so highly of him and still miss him dearly. Twelve hours had passed since we were first made aware that his time was coming close. The Hospice staff was wonderful, making sure my grandmother was taken care of and that my grandfather was as comfortable as possible in his final hours.
Twelve hours into this ordeal, you can imagine tensions were high. My grandmother had been crying, everyone was upset. Her brother, my great-uncle, was there in the room with them. He suddenly stood up, footsteps echoing like a gunshot in that silent room, and did a little dance.
You cannot make this stuff up. He did a little dance, as my grandfather lay dying. My grandmother later said she “like ta killed him.” Then something even stranger happened. He tapped his watch. Said something about it being time, or right on time. I’m not exactly sure what he said. But it wasn’t few breaths later someone whispered “Oh no” and my Pawpaw was gone, passed from this world into the next.
I believe in a higher power. I believe in things we cannot see or hope to understand. I also like to believe that, on some level, my great-uncle knew exactly what he was doing. That, in my grandfather’s last moments on earth, he knew to cause a distraction, to briefly break the terrible spell of grief and ease the pain, if only for a second.
Now, my great-uncle has passed away. He’s followed my grandfather and my great-aunt to the other side, where I know they are smiling in the sunshine, free of all their earthly troubles. We lay him to rest today, in the same place that my great-grandparents are buried.
When your family is true, there is never a stronger bond. When your hold fast to your faith, grief’s hold can only be so hard. Faith, love, hope, it’s what brings us to renewal every year. It’s how we know that, even though members of our families fade into memory, their legacy continues in the children and nieces and nephews they left behind.
Lord and Lady bless his soul and hold him warm and safe in the summerlands, give comfort and love to his children left behind to grieve, and let us all remember there is always a tomorrow, and the future rests in the smile of a baby. Blessed be.