2/20/2007

Dealing With Loss: Part 2...

Five months ago, I posted on the death of my Granny Pou. When it happened, I flew home immediately to be with my Mom. In earnest, I had my own grief, but I hadn't been close to her in some time. Because of this, my main concern was for my Mom. I wanted to be there for her.

Two Sundays ago, my mom called me to tell me that my Grandmama (my dad's mom) had died.

Grandmama had a stroke two Christmases ago and never fully recovered. In fact, for the most part, she physically digressed over the course of the year. While I was home for Christmas this year, she was rushed to the hospital at 4:30am. Because I was on CA time, I was awake. So I drove there and sat with her in her room while they raised her blood sugar back to a more normal level. (She was diabetic.) As I sat and held her hand while she rocked back and forth and moaned, I couldn't help but think of all that I still wanted to do with her. There was still so much to see. When I left Columbia, I told my mom that I felt like I would be flying home in a couple of months for her funeral.

I never thought it would be this soon.

So, when I got the call, I felt a mixture of shock, grief, and relief for her. But I didn't cry. And I didn't know why.

My mom and dad told me that they were having a little bit of trouble finding a pastor to do the funeral. My Grandmama didn't go to church and our pastor had retired. So, hearing this and feeling a very strong leading from God that someone needed to do a Gospel message at the service, I volunteered. Now, you should probably know that I had never done a funeral before. But I felt strongly about it.

So, I flew home to lead my family and others in grieving my Grandmama's death.

I didn't cry when I got home. Not until Friday afternoon, when I sat down to write the eulogy. As I came to find out, the only reason I had not had an emotional reaction to my Grandmama's death was that I had not let myself think about it. I had said emotional reaction on the third floor of the Richland County Public Library.

This was definitely one of the toughest things I have ever done.

I'm not going to write much more on this, as I'm still doing my share of grieving. But, in all of this, I wanted to make sure I shared this with you: I felt God leading me to present His love to those who would attend the service, and I did. Afterwards, no one came up to me to pray. No one made a profession of faith. But lots of people were talking. Lots came up to my dad and talked about it. Lots of people began processing it.

I don't know what will come of what others heard last Friday, but I do know some seeds were planted. May God bless those seeds and grow them fully. Most of all, I had a chance to talk about God with my dad, who I hadn't talked to since last April. That may have been the best part. I'm praying the most for that seed.

I'll leave you with this last memory; My Grandmama had four sisters (my great-aunts): Daisy, Myrtle, Patsy, and Betty. They were like a great team. And I love them all. The picture above is of the five of them. (My Grandmama's in the middle.) One of my aunts found this picture last week, and upon closer inspection, found a little red-haired surprise towards the bottom. (Go ahead, click on it and look for yourself.)

I love this picture. I love it because it shows them doing what they do a lot of: laughing.

I'm going to miss my Grandmama so much...

4 comments:

Courtney said...

Love you Josh, and I appreciate how open you are to sharing all of this with us. I will keep your family in my prayers in this time of grief.

CBQ said...

Thank you for sharing this. wow. I have often said that I will need to have serious therapy when my grandma passes away, and i can't even imagine it.

Thank you for those people who you shared the love of God with. That is an incredibly powerful statement of how God uses us in ministry.

You will be in my prayers.

Julie Hibbard said...

I am so sorry Josh. You will be in my prayers...
You are touching so many!

Anonymous said...

Josh,

I can feel what you are going through. I lost my Grandmother a few years ago. I was very close to her growing up. She was later diagnosed with dementia and I was the only person she recognized to the end. I know she loved me with all her heart as I did her. I still grieve for my loss, but not hers, I know she is in heaven, thinking clearly and being loved on by Jesus. thank you for sharing, you're amazing.