The hardest part about yesterday
Obviously, the day you find out your grandpa died is a rough day. When my phone chimed at 7:13am Sunday morning, I just knew. When I saw it was from my mom, and what the message said, there wasn’t even grief yet, just relief.
And then some emotion started, but it was mostly sadness for my Grandma.
My kids were a little panicked when they first found out. They at first thought it was THEIR Grandpa, not MY Grandpa, that had died. When I showed them a picture of who it was (you have to understand, they have my parents, Andy’s parents, both sets of my grandparents, 3 great-grandmas and 1 great-grandpa on Andy’s side…there’s lots of room for confusion!), there was a mixture of relief and grief. What was really hard for me in this situation was realizing there may be many occasions like this over the next few years. And I also remember being just a little older than Jeremiah when my great-grandma died.
Since it was Sunday, we decided to have a fairly normal day. You need your church family on these occasions. The grief really hit my while I was in the shower. But again, it wasn’t sadness FOR my Grandpa’s passing. It was grief over what he went through over the past few weeks. His long stay in the hospital. The pain he went through. The infections. The not eating for months. The not drinking for a week. And my Grandma being alone.
The worst and best part for me though, was what we were talking about during Sunday School. We are going through a video series on Jesus’s life. Yesterday was about his testing in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. How that was a fulfillment of many Old Testament occasions. How 40 days without food or water is the very limit of human ability, and that it was only through supernatural help that Jesus was able to make it.
40 days without food or water. I’m actually kinda amazed I didn’t start bawling openly. My Grandpa went through several months without food. He was not living, but surviving off of protein shakes. He lost a ton of weight over a very short period. The surgery he had 3 weeks ago was necessary for his survival, but also had the potential to take him. He made it, but the last time I visited my Grandpa, he said “I just want to eat something again”.
And then I remember hearing on Saturday that he hadn’t had even any ice chips in a week. So I’m sitting in Sunday School, hearing about Jesus going 40 days without food or water and I’m just crying because I’m thinking about my Grandpa going months without food and a week without water. Of course he was getting some hydration and nutrition via IV…
So I was going back and forth between grief, but also comfort as I realized that even in this, my Grandpa was going through something that Jesus went through first. Let me tell you, that is some amazing relief. Two passages of the Bible came to mind to me yesterday as I was dealing with these emotions:
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Hebrews 2:17-18 “Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted”
It was a huge feeling of comfort to know that even in a situation like this, Jesus knows what my Grandpa went through. He experienced the insane desire for food. He knew what it meant to be thirsty. And he was a comfort to my Grandpa, who was ready to go home to his Savior.
So, I’ll miss my Grandpa. But I know I’ll see him again. And I have a Savior who has lost those close to him. That has wept at the loss of a friend. But He holds the power to Life. And there’s peace in that.