Grieving Death, Celebrating Life

Note: I wrote this nearly a week ago, on June 24.  Finally, after a busy week, I am getting around to posting.

Right now I am flying north to Columbus, Ohio, to attend my grandmother’s funeral.

She was 99.

After years of deteriorating health she finally left her difficulties behind and went to be with the Lord.

I have mixed feelings.

On one hand I am grateful that she was able to go.  Her existence had less and less dignity, although her daughter and son-in-law cared for her in the most beautiful and respectable way possible.  It’s just that your dignity walks out the door hand-in-hand with your ability to wash yourself and tend to your own basic needs.

On the other hand I will miss her.

I will miss her as a connection to my greater family tree and history.  I will miss the woman who graciously allowed me to live with her while I was Rosedale Bible College.  I will miss the woman my mom often describes as generous, selfless, and a blessing to others.

I will miss the woman who teased me about thinking “girls don’t like me.”  To this day I don’t remember when I said that, but back in the mid-90s she remembered, and she called me on it.  And she had a funny smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

I will miss the grandma who liked to haul the ice cream bucket out of the freezer and take a few bites.

I haven’t seen her for perhaps as many as 7 years, but when I heard she had died I felt deep and instant grief.  Perhaps I will understand why sometime.  For now, I am immensely grateful to fly northward and celebrate and grieve with my family.

And every time I pull out the blankets and quilt that she sewed by hand for me and my family I will thank God for her.

Thank you, Grandma Miller, for a shining example of all that is good and loving, and for sharing your life with all of us.

Who in your family has inspired and encouraged you?

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