No Greater Joy

No Greater Joy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dealing with loss

February 16, 2011 I am home very sick for a second day from school. I am sitting in a clinic hoping that I will get some relief from the sufferings in my body. As I'm waiting there my phone rings. It's the call I've dreaded for so long. My mother tells me how things have gotten really bad for my grandmother. The Hospice nurse said she would not likely make it through the night.

I lost my beloved grandmother in the early morning hours of February 17, 2011.

The funeral service was a great tribute to the godly woman she was. Here's what I wrote that was shared at the service.

Do not grieve long for her
Her battle was fought well and with great endurance
She was a living testimony of God’s hand in action
3-6 months the doctors said
That was 20 months ago
She was not defined by the battle with cancer
She IS defined by the legacy she leaves
She was a woman of great faith
With a heart for orphans, widows and the hurting
A faithful wife
Devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother lovingly referred to as “Granny”
She did not require blood to be in her family
Vanity was not in her nature nor idleness in her hands
She is a “woman who feared the Lord and is praised”

My lifetime memories I have to pass on are…
The biscuits we made
Scaring her from behind (she ALWAYS jumped)
Walks around the neighborhood to recycle cans
Tending the garden
Canning seasons
Licking the beaters
Back rubs and jokes in bed
Cold washcloths to the last one up for school
Special treats for us grand-children (and the great-grands)
Burnt potholders
Seeing her at my college graduation IN IOWA!
Her countless hours of Bible study and hand written Scriptures
The stories she shared with me and with my girls of her growing up
Listening to her reflect on her life and how much she loved her daughters and her grandchildren
My last good-bye…

So do not grieve long for her
Her faith is now sight and she is finally home.
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

I also added this verse of a great hymn:
All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way

I wish I could tell you that the weeks since have been a healing time and a time of rejoicing in her homecoming. As much as I know I should look forward to seeing her again someday, I can't seem to get past the idea of not seeing her here. I don't know much about grief. The only other loss I've ever had to suffer was that of my grandfather in 1997. That loss was devastating as well. It took years to even talk about it. This feels worse. I guess it's because I was even closer to my grandmother and had more years with her. Maybe it's also because my children were able to know her and I get to watch them suffer through a loss as well.

I write down thoughts here and there. I don't know how long this journey of dealing with her loss will be. I just hope that by the end I will be stronger and be even more confident in my faith. That is the better alternative to just being depressed and plain crazy.