Monday, April 06, 2009

'Till We Meet Again

This is the closest I have been to death. My Grandfather died today. He has been sick for a long time and my grandmother worked hard to keep him alive. The guy had nine lives.

At 11:43 this morning I got an email from my aunt announcing his death. I called my mom thinking should would need comforting at a time like this, but when she answered the phone, her cheery voice let me know she did not know the news. I broke the news to my mother that her father passed away. I don't know if she thought I was joking or if she needed to hear it twice, but she said to me, "Melody, did my father die?" She was driving to work on the freeway and needed to pull over. I then called my brother Brandon, surely he knew seeing it as he lives with my grandma and grandpa, but he had been out and did not get the email. Therefore, I told him what happened. We then went over to the hospital. My grandfather was in the ER, that is where he was rushed earlier this morning when he was having trouble breathing. When we were let in, the chaplin asked us how much we knew about my grandfather's condition. It was interesting because she was trying to find out if she needed to break the news of his death to us. I told her we knew he passed, and she walked us down to the curtained off room he was in. Before we entered, she warned us that he didn't look very good, and that the doctors did all they could to revive him, but that he died in the ambulance on the way over. When the curtain was parted I saw my little grandmother hunched over her husband's body. Her arms were wrapped around his head and she was talking on the phone to my mother. I don't know if I will forget how my grandfather looked. He was white, his mouth gaped open, one eye closed and the other half open, as if he was winking, and his frail body nearly disappeared under the white sheets--a far cry from the tall, large, fun loving man he once was.

My grandmother kept thinking she saw him moving--first she thought he was breathing, then his lip quivering, and then she thought she saw his eyelash move. It was hard to watch her cry over her loss. She told him she loved him constantly. They knew each other for 70 years.

Brandon and I sat with her at first, and then her oldest daughter Pam came. We sat with him until they kicked us out at 2:30.

He died on my grandmother's birthday. He was 85 years old.

The funeral is Friday, April 10th.


Here Grandpa is with his wonderful family on my wedding day

Nathan and I with my Grandma and Grandpa Kirkham

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for that written account through your eyes. It's makes it better to relate being so far away, and brings it closer to the heart.

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  2. Wow... my condolences to your family. It seems that he lived a long, full life, though. Feeling death in our lives helps us remember the brevity of life and the fact that we need to appreciate every day!

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  3. I am so sorry for your loss! i hope it gives you peace to know that he is with our Heavenly father and that he is in a better place just waiting for all his loved ones to join him!!! what a great knowledge we have and can bear testimony of! love you and your sweet family !

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  4. Death is never easy even when we know that we will see our loved ones again when He calls us home when our time comes. Yesterday was my grandma Jesse's 11yr death anniversary. Ive been with my family at my aunts side in the hospital when her son had to decide whether to keep her on the machines or not as she would never wake up from her coma. she got an annurism that basically destroyed her brain. At least your grandma had a wonderful life with him and wonderful memories. The Lord calls us home when He sees fit and He knew it was your grandfathers time to join Him and help prepare a mansion for your family in Heaven. My prayers and condolences to you and your family. Even though we cant hold them physically anymore we can always hold their spirit in our hearts.

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  5. Although I cried like a little school girl when I read this, thank you for writing it. I'm sad that I wont be able to be at the funeral but I will thinking of Grandpa and you all on that day. Love you.

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  6. hee hee i love how aaron cries :) and i sure did too. It was a well-told account of granfather's passing. And i love the picture of our happy family on your wedding day. Soon we'll all be together once again.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear about your grandpa. I think my grandma's time is coming soon as well. It just makes me so grateful for the plan of salvation when someone I know passes away. Hope you're family is doing ok. Send my condolences.

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