this week, my grandpa Don went Home. the man who wasn’t my blood relative, who represented “family” to me at a time when i desperately needed it, drifted to heaven like a wisp of wind, is no more here in the shadowlands.
we knew it was coming – he had been slowly dwindling from the vibrance he was known for – and yet when i heard word, it hit hard. first for my mama, who lost her own mom not long ago, and now said goodbye to her father. but then for myself, because i didn’t spend time with him as i wished i could’ve. because i didn’t keep close communication as i wish i would’ve. for him, i rejoice, because he is oh-so-much better with the God who loves Him. but for those behind, i grieve.
yesterday, i hugged goodbye with my second, my heart- the boy who was littlest and now stands like a man at just sixteen. it was a brief hug – we were, after all, standing beside the airport security guard. as i stuttered out warnings and wise sayings and last minute advice for his trip to visit friends and family and to feed his soul with time in creation, he quipped, “mom, i’m not dying.”
ah, but son, you are. each day, in this broken place, you die a little as you live a little, practicing for the Real that is yet to come on the day you cannot predict. and every. single. second. counts. i worked the days before to find ways to gently say, “don’t miss a moment.” i struggled to express my grief in ways that guided and encouraged without placing undue bondage, but my eyes begged him, “soak it all in. take the wisdom. accept the love. embrace the differences in personality and the similarities in relationship. invest in the now, for the forever.”
grief is a thing. it can break us, and it can mold us. our softness, i think, to the process, determines which will happen. as i grieve what was not, i can paradoxically embrace what will be. because through Hope in our Lord, i know that we will see each other again. but that does not mean that i cannot be shaped into more intentional relationship in the here, for the knowing of what was lost.
grieve, my sons and my daughter. grieve for the shortness of this life, that we fill with so much less than we could. grieve for the brokenness in the now, and in each of us. and somehow, in your grieving, be romanced to dance, for the now is just the beginning.
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