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Preparing for Life & Death

Sweet Grandma

Strange title I know, but the irony of preparation for life and death has struck me this week in significant ways.  Our sweet, dear grandmother is in her final days here on this earth.  We do not know when, but have certainly had an emotional week or two thinking that the time was near, only to have her rally and make a upward turn.  However, this week hospice was called in and the preparations for the last moments are in place.

Last week I spent some time helping my MIL  by shopping for supplies that we  knew would be needed for her final days here in this body, as well as trying to ready ourselves emotionally.  During this process it struck me at the odd similarities of preparing for a birth and preparing for a death.  Have you ever thought about it?  When a child is to be born there are beds to buy, diapers needing to be purchased, and all sorts of  things that a new born might need.  Although the emotions behind the two are diabolically different, there are still so many similarities.   The hospice bed, comfort med’s and the many other things that help a person to leave this world.  While death is so very hard, the parallelisms are interesting.  

There are also unknowns between the two.  Whether birth or death the timing is not known.  I watched this process with my own sweet mama.  Somehow you want someone to be able to tell you the time.  Knowing full well that they can’t.  (We had a dr. tell us to expect about 1 to 2 weeks, only to have her pass 26 hours after coming to our home.)  While you can recognize the signs, and watch for changes you don’t really know it is that moment until it “is” that moment.  I remember in the birthing process having some moments that I was sure “was” the moment.   Only to have it stall till days later.  So we wait, watch, pray, cry, smile, and reminisce.  Knowing that we have been blessed in amazing ways to have had Grandma for as long as we have.

A birth brings a certain level of fear, and a bit of excitement.  And somehow there are some of those same moments in preparing for a loved ones death.  There is the great fear and sadness in knowing that they will be missed.  There is also a fear of how hard it will be without their influence in our lives, as well as will you ever truly be ready for them to leave.  However, when the person knows Christ, there is a certain level of excitement for them to be done on this earth and meet Jesus face to face!

As we have watched our dear 95 year old grandmother over the last few weeks and months fight for her health,  the grieving process has been great in and through all of us.  For me, it is also taking me back to the time of watching my precious mothers last moments on this earth.  My heart breaks knowing that sadness that is to come in missing Grandma’s amazing life.  There are of course a lot of tears.  Much sadness for ourselves.  She has been such an encouragement for all of us.  A servant, and delight to all who have ever met her.  It has been so very hard the last few days/weeks to watch her health deteriorate.  Just a few days ago she was talking, smiling and loving on my kids in her loving way (never letting them see her real pain).  Today, we watched her rest, and tried to help with the pain while telling her how much we loved her and how proud we were to have known her.  The days of hearing Grandma’s sweet voice, amazing stories of times past, and being the recipient of her encouraging heart are over.  It is a matter of waiting for Jesus to call her from this earth, forever.  She will be missed greatly.  I will surely write more about her amazing life in the days to come.

Loving on Grandma. Amazing woman and blessed to know her.

Like birth, the signs of death are nearing for her passing from this earth.  We still don’t know when, but we do know that God is preparing a place for her in Eternity!  What a blessed hope to know the love and Salvation of Jesus!

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