I’ve written briefly about death in here before, but it was never a close family member. I’ve always not been able to understand why people cry when a loved one dies, especially if the person who died accepted Christ into their hearts, which means they’re going to Heaven. Heaven is way better than here. They’re with JESUS. We shouldn’t cry about that.
That view of mine changed today.
Pop-Pop died unexpectedly today. He had had knee replacement surgery that went well, and was in the hospital recovering. We thought that with a little physical therapy, he would be better in no time.
I was in class today, and I wanted to know what time it was, so I grabbed my phone. I had two missed calls. I looked to see who they were from, since no one really ever calls me, especially during class. For a moment, I thought, maybe it was a wrong number or something. But one call was from my sister, and one was from my Mom. They also both left a voicemail. I knew that for both of them to leave a voicemail, SOMETHING had to be up. When I got out of class, I called Mom back, but she didn’t pick up right away (her phone was on silent). So I called my sister, and she said that Mom would call me back in a couple of minutes. I waited. While I was waiting, I had a feeling that it was something major, but I had peace about it. (Peace from God). Mom then called me and told me that he died. It had only happened a few minutes ago when we were talking.
As it turns out, he had a rare intestinal problem that caused his intestines to just stop working. It was described to me “as if his intestines had a heart attack.” I know that that is nowhere near correct, medically. So it was a shock but at the same time, part of me knew. I didn’t start crying until I hung up the phone and called my friend Caitie.
As I was crying, I was praying and also wrestling with the idea itself of crying. I knew for sure that Pop-Pop was in Heaven, and was happy for him. I knew that he was with Jesus because I remembered one Thanksgiving dinner. We were at their house, and were going around the table saying what we were thankful for. Pop-Pop said that he was thankful that everyone in the room was a Christian. Everyone includes him.
My flesh, my humanity, was what was sad. Sad because I won’t see him again until I get to Heaven. Sad because we weren’t expecting it. Sad because I’m not sure when the last time I saw him in person was. Sad because I let myself get caught up in family drama instead of looking past it in love and cherishing the time together.
I was able to stop crying for Bible study, and even laughed a few times (youtube videos + college kids=funny!). At the end, instead of taking prayer requests, Megan just prayed. After she was done, I said that I had a prayer request. I had come to the study, knowing there would be prayer, and I needed it. So I said it, and as soon as I did, the tears started to come again. Prayer and lots of hugs later, we left.
These emotions, this state of mind, etc. is something entirely new for me, and it is showing me how to trust God on a new level.
Heaven has one more person tonight.