Monday, November 21, 2005

Go in peace

I'm still grieving my great-uncle who passed away earlier this month. His death was not sudden or unexpected, but the finality of it is still sinking in. I still see him in my dreams and cry hot tears that I will never again see him awake.

And now, today, I will be flying home to Saskatchewan to say good-bye to his dying brother, my grandfather. This too is not sudden - though not as expected since, while his health has been deteriorating, not so long ago he still seemed strong. I was sure I would see him when I came home for Christmas. Now I don't think I can wait so long.

To be honest, I haven't cried yet - though I'm sure there will be plenty of that in this coming week. It's strange when one grief is added to another - somehow they both seem diminished though the combined weight increased.

My grandpa is 95-years old. Mum says he is ready to go. He is tired. He has been in pain for months. He recently had to sell his home, lose his independence, the activities he enjoyed. I don't think anyone in the family can begrudge him his death. 'Go in peace,' pastors and priests often say at the end of service. My grandpa has attended church regularly for most of his life; perhaps that is what he is hearing now: 'Go in peace.'

That would be my greatest wish for him right now. I hope his faith is being rewarded with a certainty that he goes to a better place. Those in my family who believe the same will also be comforted. I'm not sure what happens after death, but if Grandpa's faith can give him peace now, make the parting easier, then I am grateful for it.

Faith. Hope. Peace. Love. ... in so many ways I am coming to understand that, at the end of the day, they are all that really matter.

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