My grandmother passed away this week. That seems so impossible — so radically hard to grasp. I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that it did, indeed, happen. Her house is empty…there is a stillness that is absolutely stifling. And we’re left wondering why something so tragic had to happen to such a wonderful woman. She loved God. She loved her family. But these tragedies make us wonder why we’re even here. Why would a loving God inflict such pain on a family who misses their loved one more than they can bear?
My nights are filled with the tears that just refuse to stop shedding for her. All I can focus on is the pain of it all and how I wish that I could have borne that pain for her. Watching someone die it the ultimate test of faith, I think. It was a room full of people, but she was all only with her God. In her deepest agony, she gave up her suffering and flew to the arms of her Savior.
In the world’s eye, it’s a tragedy. In the eyes of her beloved friends a family, it’s a beautiful life that ended so bitterly. But for God, it was a joyful reuniting with Him in Paradise. Now, that’s hard to understand for us finite beings, but I know it’s true. All day today, I felt absolutely surrounded by her love — as if she was in the room with me and watching little Faith play and laugh. I can feel her right now as I’m sitting “hunched” over my computer screen (something she always chided me about!).
When you think of her laughing and playing with all of those sweet babies up above, Death loses its sting. Mammaw is no more pain. All of my life, she struggled in agonizing pain — diabetes, fibromyalgia, two occurrences of cancer, and so much more. Her body was weary from the burden, but she is now light. She can run again — playing again in the great outdoors that she loved so deeply. Our lives will never be the same — our life with her is over, but for her, it is just beginning. She’s praying for us by day and night and urging us to keep on staying strong. She fought bravely to the very end.
And now, as my eyes once again fill with tears, I leave behind the powerful, timeless Sonnet X by my beloved John Donne:
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow
And soonest our best men with thee do go
Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!
Poem courtesy of http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/proud/.