This week my husband’s Grandma passed away at the age of 95. We have lived down the street from her for the past 11 years, so I had the great privilege of getting to know her well. She was my good friend—and FUNNY. I’d call her up and ask her how she was doing and she’s say something like “well…..I’m not buying any green bananas, let’s put it that way.” I loved how she always treated me as if I were actually one of hers. She made me feel included, unconditionally loved—and like I always had at least one friend in my home away from home town. That was really huge for me. One time at a family get together I overheard Grandma talking to one of the grandsons about sugar addiction……he was saying how hard it was for him to eat ice cream in moderation. Grandma said “oh—you got that from me.” So I said, “where did I get it from then?” and she said “You got that from me.”
She and Grandpa had been married for 73 years. My husband is one of the 25 grandchildren, our kids are 4 of 97 great-grandchildren, and there are also a few great greats. It really is an impressive legacy—-she is one of those “tough acts to follow” but inspires you to keep giving life your best and to never ever quit finding things to smile about.
One of the many bible verses that gives perspective on loss of loved ones is 1 Corinthians 15:22 where the Apostle Paul says:
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” How comforting to know that though all of us will die, we will all be resurrected just like Christ!
Lds.org describes it like this:
“When you die your body gets left behind, lifeless like a glove, but your spirit lives forever. Countless scriptures and personal accounts by prophets throughout time have told us this is true.”
“Our physical death isn’t the end, but rather is a step forward in Heavenly Father’s plan and a time of indescribable joy for the person making the transition.”
“When you’re the one left behind—the one losing a friend or loved one—the pain of that loss is very real. But there’s a lot of comfort in knowing you’ll see him or her again. And because of Christ’s death, at some point our spirit and body will be reunited (resurrected) and made perfect never to be separated again.”
In her book titled: “To Heaven And Back” Dr. Mary Neal describes what it was like when her spirit temporarily left her body after being trapped under her kayak under the current of a waterfall for fourteen minutes.
“I felt as if I had finally shaken off my heavy outer layer, freeing my soul. I rose up out of the river, and when my soul broke through the surface of the water, I encountered a group of fifteen to twenty souls (human spirits sent by God), who greeted me with the most overwhelming joy I have ever experienced and could ever imagine.”
We miss her already. I am so sad for us who have to live without her for a while, but so grateful to know what comes next, that it’s just a temporary separation……and best of all—how “indescribable” Grandma’s joy is right now.