And together we learn

Monday, January 22, 2007

A happy goodbye

My grandpa just passed away on Saturday. It's a good thing--he had Alzheimer's. Really, all of our mourning for him was done over the past three years as we watched him slip away. Right now, all I can think of is the joy he must feel over his freedom.

He was a musician. There was always classical music playing in his care center, right down to the end. He wrote several hymns in German while he was in Germany on a mission. All of the older grandkids are singing it for the funeral. We just practiced it tonight, and it was so incredible. The little grandkids are going to sing I am a Child of God. It should be beautiful.

He is the first one of my grandparents to pass away. I'm the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, so I've been lucky enough to grow up with them here. Steve, though, lost all of his grandparents when he was much much younger. He's the youngest child by far. Essentially, we're from different generations.

Steve has been volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival, and having a great time. One of the films he saw was a documentary about a couple married 40 years who have to come to terms with the wife's Alzheimers. There was a line he recounted to me that is so poignant: "Learning how to shift from being lovers to being strangers." Wow.


5 comment(s):

Sorry about your grandpa but you're right , he is in a better place and free from the confines of this body. Alzeheimers seems like such a crual disease.

By Blogger Mrs. Darling, at 7:40 AM  

Grief for the believer is a different thing. It is a hopeful type of grief where we weep not out of hopelessness, but out of joy for our loved ones. As it has been said so many times, it isn't goodbye but "see you later."

Sounds like he left a legacy.

By Blogger Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney, at 1:55 PM  

When my grandma passed away a couple of years ago I missed her terribly. Then I realised I had been missing her for some time before that - she was suffering with dementia and hadn't been herself for a couple of years. It took while to realise she'd gone to a better place and it wasn't such a terrible thing. Sounds like you've already come to terms with this.
The plans you have for the funeral sound beautiful.

By Blogger theotherbear, at 2:51 PM  

Ok, that last quote made me cry.

It sounds like a beautiful ceremony you all have planned, and while I know he will be missed, I'm glad that he is freed now of the bonds that have held him here. He can soar now, and as lindsey said above, it sounds like he left a legacy.

{{hugs}} Dy

By Blogger Dy, at 9:39 PM  

Becca, I am so, so sorry. I will keep your family in our prayers. We had the same situation last year with my grandfather.

By Anonymous Jennifer, at 2:39 AM  

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