I lost my Grandpa this week.
It was a surreal experience to walk through. Waiting for a loved one to die. Watching him breath slower and slower, longer pauses between breaths, each breath a fete for his tried body.
We are fortunate.
We had time. Time to say goodbye. Time to read to him, to pray, and time remember him, with him still present. We were able to gather as a family, to sit with him and love on him, to laugh over memories, and to cry together.
We are fortunate.
It didn’t take long. He didn’t labor and work for long, to breath, to let go, before passing. He was peaceful. Often looking like he was praying, or singing along to the hymns playing in the back ground, or even wanting to speak to Grandma or one of us present with him. His peaceful ease was a mercy for us. His physical pain, though present, was minimal and treatable.
When it was his time, he was clean and freshly propped up on pillows, looking comfortable and at ease. His final breaths were easier and free from labor. And then his heart stopped, as family was gathered around him, his wife beside him.
I lost a pillar of steadfast strength. I lost threads of my life when I lost him, fibers that created a backdrop to every memory I have. I lost a role model, a teacher, a friend and mentor, and a central figure in my life.
Grandpa, because of you, I have such a treasure house of memories, a wealth of love and laughter; your deep voice and tight hugs, your reservoir of learning and teachable moments, your love of hymns and scriptures, your love for adventuring outdoors, and especially your kindness, compassion and steadfast faith. You have been an essential piece of my life, a gift from God.
You’ve left us a legacy of faith, love and adventure.