My grandmother died this morning at 11 a.m. For most of the day, I was happy, almost joyous, and at peace. I took care of my grandfather, my mom, and my stepfather. I made sure everyone else was okay and plastered a smile on my face. I do believe that God has given me the strength to make it through today. But now He’s given me the opportunity to mourn. I’m glad I can cry because it felt very alien to hold her icy hands less than half an hour after her spirit soared to God, and feeling nothing.
Her breathing had changed apparently and the nurses called my mom to summon the family to the hospital. Sarah and I quickly gathered our belongings, hopped in the car, and began racing to the hospital as fast as we could. I insisted on listening to Chris Rice. The song came to the last verse, “Fly to Jesus/Fly to Jesus/Fly to Jesus and live”. I saw a red-tailed hawk taking flight on the other side of the highway. Its wings were turned toward me and I marvelled at the brilliant flash of auburn as this bird seemed to be soaring to Jesus. A moment later, my cell phone rang as my mom tearfully told me that my grandmother was dead. I felt as prepared as one can be for such a tragedy.
There were touches of God’s mercy and grace throughout the past week. Even after I exploded into hot tears and shook my fist at Heaven, He was patient. I was awake the past week praying for Him to take her home, and He held me in His arms.
Even last night, my last time with her, was tender and sweet. I held her hands and sang to her, mostly songs about Heaven and God’s love. She squeezed my hand as if to tell me that she was listening. My last words to her were, “I love you, and if I don’t see you again on this earth, I’ll see you on the other side.” There is hope.