This will be an unusual post as I just write out all the jumbled thoughts in my mind. This is for my own personal benefit more than for my blog or others. But I need to get all the thoughts out and I don’t mind being transparent.
Monday my Grandfather passed away. My grandma and aunts were all at the house with him. My grandmother was with him as he breathed his last. She was talking with my aunts several minutes afterwards about the funeral arrangements and all the sudden grandpa opened his eyes started breathing again, looked at my grandma in her eyes as she held his hand smiled and then went to heaven.
My grandma said it was as if He left went to heaven then decided to come back just for a moment to let her know that everything was great and she should join him when she is ready.
He was battling cancer and we all knew if was his time. So this past week the family has been over visiting him as much as possible.
What do you do after a loss? Even when you expect someone to die it is still a loss. Most of the family is handling it fairly well as we had time to prepare our heats. I can’t say the same for my father as he just lost his dad and he is filled with mixed emotions of pain, anger, loss, and regrets. We all handle death differently.
I am a licensed pastor and I went to school for three years as well as lots of training. One of the best classes I took was from Pastor David Newell On End of Life Counseling. As Christians we fully believe in the power of healing. I have seen many people personally be health from sickness, disease, paralysis, broken bones, etc. However, as a pastor it is important to listen to when God say’s it is time for someone to go to heaven. Telling a family that their loved one will be healed when it is actually time for them to pass on can be detrimental. Because in reality that family needed help processing what is about to happen to begin the healing process in their hearts for the loss that is swiftly coming. Everything and everyone has a time, we are not perfect people with bodies that can stand for eternity.
This is something I assumed that was very well known…. Don’t assume
When someone is going through loss it doesn’t matter what they know. Rationality can easily be thrown out the window as the pain and loss seem overwhelming.
I am thinking on these thing specifically because my Grandfather was the glue that held the family communication together. Every Sunday he would get out his address book where he had everyone phone numbers written down and he would go one by one and call everyone in the family His brother and sister, all the aunts and uncles, all the cousins children and grandchildren. Even if you were estranged from the family or didn’t want to know what was going on he would call and keep everyone update with the family, Through that the entire family knew how valuable they were. My grandpa was a great man.
In the last few months a rift started in the family between my father and my uncle in terms of a business they co-own. Stuff happened and things were said and anger planted a seed in my fathers heart. So this week while everyone is trying to hold themselves together things are not great. My father has let that anger fester in his heart with the passing of his dad. Right now in life everything seems like it is being taken away from my dad. He father, his company, his house… The world is falling apart.
Please keep in mind this is all from my prospective
I am afraid of what happens next week. After the funeral has taken place, and family from out of town returns home. What will become of my family. Will we be close? will everyone go their separate ways? When my dad found out that his father passes he had many options of what to do next. There was this moment where he would chose do I be a pastor, a son, or a broken man. It was probably a mixture of all three things but he left the pain, loss and suffering take over and gave into the depths of darkens as the emotions of loss overwhelmed him.
What is the next step you take after loss? For me loss of a loved one is a whole different experience. I am not sad, I am not angry, I don’t feel lost. I am overjoyed that my grandfather who was suffering so much pain from the cancer and not being able to breath or doing anything but lay on a bed and wait to die, has gone to heave. He is not in pain, he is not suffering, he is rejoicing in heaven.
But I am still here on earth and even though my heart is not torn apart, those around me are going through a great divorce between their ideals, beliefs, identity, and spirit. How do I be there for them, what do I say. I have learned not the say too much in this time because I know how I view death is drastically different from 99% of people. I have felt this way since I was very young and I was greatly hurt by words spoken over me because of those beliefs. I have forgiven those people and they words they spoke. As a child I didn’t understand why they would say those things; however, as an adult I know they were just hurting during a time of loss and couldn’t comprehend my little 5 year old thinking. My thoughts and ideas can be hurtful to those suffering a loss as they are drowning in pain.
So for know all I can do is pray for them, love them, and let them know that there are people here on this earth who still deeply desire to be in a relationship with them.
This week I am praying for peace and healing over my family. That his loss would not be the undoing, but something that would draw everyone closer together as they pick up the legacy my grandfather left behind, to communicate with one another in all times.