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Monday, September 19, 2011

Life As We Know It

Got an e-mail today from my mom letting us know my grandma is not doing well and was being taken to the hospital. Now, my grandma is 93 years old, but has not been living for years. She has moments of muddled clarity when she smiles and remembers who I am. When other people's grandparents have passed away, I have often felt empathy for the surviving family, but would think, "well, he was 90 years old"...or "85 years old"...or "95 years old," and my empathy was limited. It sounds cold, but I figured at least they were able to live a long life. I guess it's because I had never lost anyone "older" who was close to me. My ignorance fed my lack of understanding. Until now. Of course, my grandma hasn't passed away yet, but it is the inevitable fate of each of us to move on from this life at some point. I know that her time is not far in the future, I just don't know the exact hour or day. 

And my heart is filled with mourning. I suppose it's not the sadness of missing the relationship, but of the memories that are tied to her. The realization that it does, indeed, all come to an end, and that her passing is just the beginning of a long chain of events that happens in everyone's lives. Grandparents dying, parents dying, friends dying, loved ones dying. It is the realization that the chapter of my life that contained her will be closed, nothing but memories of the past.

It's sad. And my heart aches for my dear grandpa, 98 years old and still sharp as a tack. A kind, gentle man who has been nothing but supportive and loving to me and my siblings our whole lives. As he faces the imminent death of his dear wife of more than 70 years, I can't imagine the sorrow he feels.

But amid the sadness, I sense the hope that lies within me. The hope of a new tomorrow, the hope of what is to come after our short life here on earth. My saddened heart leaps for joy at the thought of being in the presence of my Heavenly Father one day, surrounded by perfection and basking in the worship of our Savior. I am not afraid of dying. I know that my life here is but a passing breath and that before I know it, I will be in that Heavenly place, singing joyfully with my grandma and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who have passed before me. 

And so, that is how I feel today. Mournful, joyful, thoughtful...thankful. Thankful for the life I've had and the life I'll have. Thankful that I have been blessed with grandparents who have always cared about my well-being and have invested in my life. Thankful that my children have grandparents who adore them and would do anything for them. Thankful that I have the hope of eternal life and hopeful that my children will each make a personal decision to have a relationship with the Savior so that they, too, will one day join me in Heaven, where we will sing, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!"


Amy V. said...

Aw, what a sweet reminder. Sorry to hear about your grandma. :( It's great that you can find comfort in your belief in God.

Sarah Wieder said...

Oh, Shanti, this brought tears to my eyes! You have such an eloquent way of writing. I'll be thinking of you over these next few days!

Cherie said...

Ok, that last sentence gave me chills!

Anonymous said...

I remember your grandparents fondly, but haven't seen them in years. Even though it's hard now, it's such a blessing to have sweet memories. May she go in peace! Love you, Karen said...

love you, sorry that such sadness is what has brought you back to our virtual world, blessings.

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