What made his death so difficult was that the way he died was very similar to my dad's death only four months ago. Granddad came under Hospice care in his home last week and had the same hospice nurse my dad did. They specifically requested her because she did such a great job caring for my dad. We were able to see Granddad on Saturday when he was still responsive. When I walked in to his bedroom where he was laying, it instantly brought me back to my dad laying on the hospital bed in the living room of his home during his last days. My mind was flooded with memories of my dad as he approached death and all the emotions that went with it.
God had graciously revealed a few things to me before I went to see Granddad. I was so fearful of losing the peace and joy that I had been able to experience in the midst of grieving my dad's death. I didn't know if I was going to be able to handle the emotions again. I didn't know if I could see my granddad in a similar state that my dad was in. God revealed to me that I was clinging to his gift of peace and joy instead of clinging to him. I was trying to psych myself up and mentally prepare myself to see Granddad because I was afraid that if I didn't, the peace God had given me would disappear. But when I stopped holding on so tightly to the peace and joy and just cried out to God, I knew he would provide me what I needed during my time of grief as he had done with my dad.
There were a lot of tears at Granddad's bedside. There were a lot of laughs as well since Granddad was joking until the end. But I wasn't worried about trying to muster up peace and joy on my own. Instead, God graciously gave it to me. On the drive home that night, I was so joyful. I kept praising God for walking through this loss with me. He is so faithful. I am continuing to trust that God will provide everything we need to get through this time. It will be difficult. The visitation is at the same place my dad's visitation was at. The funeral will be at the same church as my dad's service and he will be buried right next to my dad. I'm sure there will be more emotions and memories of my dad as we go through these next few days of celebrating Granddad's life but I know God will continue to provide joy and peace in the midst of it as he has before.
Granddad's funeral is Friday and I have the privilege of giving the funeral message. What an honor for me to be able to give a tribute to the life of a man who had such an impact on me and point to the hope that he always reminded us of - Jesus.