So, while I thought I would be more on top of this blog with the new year over and the upheaval of my life in January behind me…. that is likely not going to be the case in February either.
Last week, my grandmother passed away and so my family has been busy making arrangements for her funeral services in the coming days…
I’m sad that she’ll never get the Valentine’s Day flowers I sent her, but what I wrote on the note in the flowers’ card I believe is the best summery of her:
You always taught me to show love and kindness,
Perhaps because you embodied both so well.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s very true. She was always smiling, would never say a bad word about anyone. All she knew was how to love and boy, did she love her family. They were what gave her joy.
My Grandmother had been suffering through a number of ailments, including dementia, in the years leading up to the end of her life. It was always saddening to go see her and see her not quiet as I remembered her from days of my youth. Even as the words regarding my life and questions for her came out of my mouth, I could tell the memories of those words would be loss shortly after I left, if not before. But regardless, my family and I of course have continued to love her dearly. I know this will be a particularly hard time for my father…
But I am grateful. I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation. Similar to when my Grandfather died 6 years ago, I found that my grief is quelled by the peace this knowledge brings.
The Plan of Salvation clearly outlines our purposes here in this world, in this life. But it also outlines our purposes for the eternities. Additionally, it addresses with certainty what happens when we die.
Specifically it tells us that we go onto the Spirit World where we are reunited with our families. Not as orbs or drifting mists, but as spirits whose forms resemble our human bodies here on Earth. We have presence and continue to exist, with all our knowledge, memories, and growth made in this life. And even more importantly, the occurrence of death is but a temporary parting between our loved ones here on Earth and the reunion with our loved ones who have passed onto the other side.
I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ which makes this possible. I am grateful that He knew we would not be perfect, but came down to suffer for us anyway. In doing so, He it possible for us to repent. We can become better sons and daughters of a living God, who loves us unconditionally.
Perhaps an equal act of grace, through the Atonement, Christ was able to understand all of our struggles and hardships. That includes the loss of family members, and thus, is able to comfort us in ways near incomprehensible to men. It is during times such as these, that I am most grateful for this comfort He gives freely to those who seek it.
I am grateful for how the knowledge of these things eases my burdens and allows me to more fully express my love and joy for my Grandmother during the time of her passing. And I am grateful for prayers and well-wishes offered by all on behalf of our family. Saying goodbye is never easy. But love immeasurably lifts us out of sorrow, even if only one day at a time.
As a last invitation on behalf of my grandmother, I’d like to invite all to read “The Book of Mormon”. The book outlines our purpose here on Earth through the Plan of Salvation. It also explains the glory, justice, and mercy of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and gives us knowledge of how we can be with our families forever – through all eternity, even beyond the bonds of death.
My Grandmother read the Book of Mormon and held a testimony of the Book of Mormon until her last days. I also hold a testimony of this sacred book near and dear to my heart. It makes me grateful that she passed her love of God and Jesus Christ onto me.
My Grandmother always smiled and expressed joy – it is what I want to make of my life – joy and love. I love you, Grandma. And I thank you, for your example of how to love others, find the joy in life, and hold strong to Jesus Christ. I’ll miss you, but I know I will see you again.