Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Grieving and Remembering

This is my first time blogging in a while. (I really hate how I have to mention this every time I blog! lol) Since the previous post, a lot has happened. About a month after that, my grandfather passed away. Before he died, I had never lost anyone so close. So the grieving process is a new experience for me.

Immediately after my grandfather died, I felt relief. He had gone through so much pain, and it was good to know that he would no longer feel pain. But an hour or so after I heard the news --almost in a wave -- I felt the punch of the loss. It almost took the air out of me. What was also weird about it was that I was at home alone. Nothing is so horrible as receiving such news alone. When/if I get such news again about someone else, I'm going to find some people. (Fortunately, my good friend Amy talked with me on the phone about it -- that certainly helped!)

Many people have a hard time accepting loss, but I was able to accept it rather quickly. I knew, almost immediately, what I would miss: my grandfather's letters on my birthday, his "Hello, you!" greetings, his smile, his voice, and most of all, his reassuring presence. You know, it's really crazy how that last one gets you. I mean, I live in Oklahoma, which is hundreds of miles from where my grandfather once lived. So, really, I didn't experience the day-to-day joys of living near him. That said, Grandpa was always someone you could count on being there: a pillar. And now that pillar is gone. I'd like to be all-spiritual about it and say that his pillar was Christ, and that that foundation remains. It is true; it does. Yet, somehow, it does not remove the sting of it.

Almost a year later now, the sting has lessened some. But Grief's pang still comes up at the oddest times. I was on a cruise (to Alaska) with a friend of mine this summer, and while were whale watching, we talked to an older gentleman who was standing next to us on the deck. He regaled us with tales of his days as a factory worker, his family, and -- I forget the rest, but he just had a feel about him that hearkened times long past. At some point during the conversation, I thought, "This is a man Grandpa would have loved to talk to!" My heart hurt as I remembered he was no longer around.

Then there are the times that I'm laying in bed, waiting to sleep (the rule these days). I'll remember him, and my heart hurts again. I miss him so much. I know that he is with the Lord now, and he doesn't miss it here, but I'm still here, and I hurt. It makes me long for the day when I'll see him again -- when Death is swallowed up in victory.