Scott's grandfather passed away this morning after just a few months of battling lung cancer. He took a turn for the worst about a week and a half ago and was admitted to the hospital. He had lost a tremendous amount of weight due to the aggressive chemo treatments he had just started, and we really didn't know how much longer he could hold on. On Tuesday, he was able to go home and had the help of Hospice care. This morning, Scott's mom called to let us know he had passed.
It is still so scary to me - death. I don't have a good grasp on it; I don't have an understanding. Probably because I am so fortunate to have not experienced any great personal loss. My grandfather died shortly after my son was born, and that's the only death I have experienced. I know how it felt when my mother was diagnosed with "the biggest stage three cancer you can have without it being a stage four" (that's how the doctor explained its magnitude to us). I know that fear - the fear that she would suffer, the fear that I would lose her. But praise God, I have not felt the pain of the loss yet. All this being said, I can't imagine what Scott's grandmother is going through right now. They were married fifty-two years, I think. He had the most gentle spirit I had ever experienced. I never heard his voice raised at all, not even in excitement and certainly not in anger. He adored his wife, the way all women wish they could be adored. I don't know how she will get along without him. She is the one that needs constant prayer right now. Sure, the whole family hurts for the loss, but she will ache for the rest of her life.
I told David last week that his great-grandaddy was very sick. I told him that he would probably pass on to heaven soon and I didn't want him to be surprised when I told him the news. So, this morning, I told him that grandaddy had gone to heaven and that his daddy was a little sad because that was really his grandaddy. David was very quiet, and I could see his little brain trying to process is and understand it. So I said to him, trying to make it a positive thing, "Wow, he gets to spend Christmas in heaven." David looked at me with questions in his eyes. A couple of months ago we heard a sermon about what heaven is like, and David does not really like to go to Bible class, so he normally sits with us in the service. He talked about heaven a lot in the weeks after that sermon as though he had soaked in every word. He clearly understood what the pastor had talked about that Sunday. So I said to him, "Can you imagine what it would be like to have Christmas in heaven?" He responded, "But I don't know." I said to David, "Well, you know how great it is here during Christmas. Can you imagine how great it would be in heaven?" David smiled from ear to ear. And, so did I.
Christmas... in heaven. Surrounded by the presence of God. Surrounded with the angels in eternal praise of Jesus, our Saviour. The sounds, the sights, the experience. Certainly a better way to think about today's loss.