It has been an amazing time for our family. My step-grandpa moved to Minnesota in October. He was not well. He had many health problems and even though he wished to be strong, his body gave out. I spent time with him in his apartment. Occasionally we would talk. We didn’t know each other well. I had met him one other time in my life. He lived in Ohio about 13 hours away, too far for someone like me to travel.
He gave me a gift at the end of his life. He was in the hospital and I knew we needed to go, so I encouraged my Mom to take me to the ICU where he was in his bed. I told him we came to pray with him. He opened his eyes and turned his head so I could see his smile. It was the first time I saw real peace on his face. He held my hand. It was not hard for me to be there. I don’t fear death. I don’t fear pain because I’ve had so much of it, that I fear living for a long time. I told him that I can’t wait to go to heaven. Many people do not want to hear that from a young person. They think it’s wrong to want to leave this life. But the truth is, many of us who have lived very hard lives have seen the spiritual side of life in ways that others can’t. I have never had this much peace. I feel like Grandpa was loved to his last breath.
So whenever I could be there, he turned and looked at me and even had tears because he knew that I was so happy for him, that dying is not the end. It’s a beautiful beginning. One of our friends says that death is “The Messenger of Joy”. I know that’s true. It’s strange how people get afraid of death. Like it’s the very last thing they want to happen. I don’t feel like that. I don’t wish to be dead before my time but I can say for sure that I will be so very happy to leave. I will have freedom on the other side that I don’t have here. I wrote a poem for Grandpa and I will have Mom read it at his service. It’s a beautiful time.