Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Final Moments in Grandpa's Room

We spent the first 48 hrs of our trip in Grandpa's room.  He passed away saturday around 5:30 in the morning.  More than 48 hrs ago, and yet for whatever reason we all find ourselves coming back to this room.  Each visit is a little different.  Sometimes I personally come in here to just reminisce on the good times.  Other times to grieve the wonderful man we have lost. 
I know that for all of us, this room represents so many wonderful times and memories with Grandpa, but most memories pale in comparison to the beauty of his final night.  
Beauty may seem like an odd word to use, but it has honestly been one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever witnessed.  As a nurse I have experienced death many times.  But Grandpa's death, as well as his life, was a reflection of God!  
It was indescribable.  I honestly know that I cannot even begin to replicate the events so I won't try.  But I know that I will never doubt my faith after hearing Grandpa's words.  
  Grandpa's eyes were fixated on the ceiling.  He was in a total gaze when he said in the most peaceful voice, "Lift me.  Lift me so I can be free".  Aunt Laurie and I asked "Grandpa, can you see Jesus?  He said,  "I feel like something is lifting me up".  He didn't say much else for hours. He didn't need to.  We knew God was with him, and he was at peace.  
We sat around his bed, holding his hands...stroking his hair...scratching his back.  
We weakly sang Jesus Loves Me and Amazing Grace.  And Demi and Wyatt with his deep voice read scripture of heaven and spoke of getting a new body.   Grandpa stayed silent for many more hours.  He slept from time to time, but mostly gazed like he was (as my sister said) in and out of his body taking a final trip of the earth he has known for the last 97 yrs.  I imagine he was holding hands with those he loved that have gone before him.   He kept grasping the air with a perfectly cupped hand.  Like someone we couldn't see had a hold of it.
It was early in the morning when Grandpa's silenced ceased.  He suddenly yelled "stand me up!  Stand me up, I see my Doctor". It was only seconds and grandpa was gone.  I have no doubt that he was seeing God, the great doctor was there to take Grandpa home.
We cried tears of sadness and tears of joy.  What a testimony in his final moments!  Grandpa has always been a living testimony to God.  I knew that.  It was obvious.  What I didn't know was what a testament his death would be.  His gaze.  His words.  His peace will never be forgotten.  If there is ever a time in my life when I begin to doubt Gods existence, I will remember this night.  Through grandpa, I felt Gods presence.  What an honor.  What a blessing!  

 I realize again just how lucky we are and Grandpa was to have Aunt Laurie to care for him.  I want to take the time to thank my Aunt Laurie for doing such a wonderful job over the last few yrs.  Who knows how Grandpa's last years would have been without her.  Because of her this room is a place we can come to...we can come to remember, to reminisce, to grieve.  To remember the beauty of that night.  We will always be grateful for that!

And if Grandpa's final moments weren't enough, I found an entry in one of the many journals grandpa kept.  Sitting in his chair, in his room, I read his words.  His words say
(What better way could we serve The Lord than in helping to bring someone to Jesus, that they might accept him as their personal savior.  We mean to do well but we wait for the right opportunities which too often do not come.  Time is short.  We must do what we can while we can.)

I want to take this moment to let all of you know that God loves you!  I hope that you will come to know Jesus so that you too can spend your eternity in heaven.   By saying and truly believing in this simple prayer, and you can receive the free gift of salvation, made possible by Jesus Christ shedding his sinless blood. 
Romans 10 says:
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


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