I spent my day off today saying goodbye to the patriarch of A’s family, his grandfather. He passed away late last week and we have been dealing with the aftermath as bast we can since then, since most of his family lives in our city.
I knew him as a gruff but witty man who loved to joke but also was not well. Even his pastor described him as a “man’s man” at the service today. The photos cycling on the screen at the memorial reflected this; in his earlier days he sported dark, slicked-back hair; a motorcycle; his beautiful bride on his arm. Because I am a Christian and so was he, I feel much worse about the pain he felt in his last days than I feel about the fact that he’s gone now. The thing that is most painful for this family in the aftermath of his death, I think, is the fact that he left a wonderful woman behind, who hasn’t gone to bed alone in 66 years. What next for her?
Death is part of the Great Unknown, and I think that’s most of what makes it uncomfortable and hurtful for those of us left behind. I don’t have any answers for A’s grandma, or anyone who is hurting today.
Something I thought remarkable is that both A and his mother have commented to me that they don’t want people to be so sad at their funerals. Neither of them feel that death is such a sad thing, and neither of them feel that sadness is the best way to heal for those they will leave behind.
I think it’s an interesting concept. Something to think about today in particular. As the great Dr. King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.”
Here’s to hoping everyone reading this post will allow light into their lives, that it will drive out any darkness that might be hiding there.