Tuesday morning my husband's grandfather passed away. Grandpa was a sweet, tiny man that had a heart of gold. He always had a smile for me and a twinkle in his eye that made you think he remembered you, even in the grips of Alzheimer's. Grandpa was 93, and while he lived a long, good life....it's still so sad. Four of his 5 children were able to be at his side the days leading up to his death. I'm so thankful that we've had the last 3 years here, living just 25 minutes from them, to get to know them a bit better and also for the kids to get to know their Great Grandpa.
My oldest two boys, as sad as it is, have a pretty good grip on death and dying. They know that when you die you go to heaven to live with Jesus and don't seem saddened by the death, but by missing the person. A few years ago, my great uncle, Marvin, died. Rugby and Riley knew him from church and knew that he loved fishing. We talked then about living in heaven, being free of pain, etc. Their little minds were just a working and you could almost see the wheels turning. Shortly after that, their pet fish died. "Mom, our fish went to heaven to live by Uncle Marvin and Jesus. Do you think he'll take care of him?" They get it.
So, Tuesday night I sat down with the boys to tell them about grandpa. Riley asked, "Is that when they put him in the big treasure chest thing." And Rugby had a comment about catching dead fish in heaven with Uncle Marvin. (Because only dead fish live in heaven, you know. ) We talked about what a funeral was and they knew it was a church service to say good bye. It's amazing to me the grip the boys have on this, even at 8 and 6. So, until we can fish in heaven with you, Grandpa, Good bye. We love you and we'll miss you.