Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Letter to Grandma

Every once in awhile, the urge to write Grandma would come. It’d be about a month since I’d written or something was on my heart that I wanted to share with her or I just felt like saying hello. 

Yesterday, that urge to write Grandma came. 

It was the first time since her funeral that I wanted to write her a letter. It was an awfully strange feeling - to want to share my heart and not be able to. If I did write and just didn't send it, would it feel the same? Could I believe that she’d know from heaven and it’d be just like I was sharing with her but getting no response? 

Many times when I wrote, I wasn’t waiting for her response. It was just a sweet comfort to share my heart with her and to hear hers in a letter whenever it would come.

You know when you get the feeling you just have to share something with someone?? What do you do with that yearning when that person is no longer there?

For me, it remains. The pain of the loss stings. It stings the heart. It stings my eyes with tears. But mostly it stings my heart and it hurts.

I want to be mad, mad at someone. Turn the pain to another emotion and get it out.

Who is there to be mad at though? 
Mad at Grandma for passing away? No way. 
Mad at God for death? No way.

Anger isn’t the answer. I have to choose to be thankful. Thankful to God for the hope of heaven and eternal life. Thankful to Grandma for the way she loved me and made me feel cared for and safe.  Thankful for the life we did get to share together. Thankful for all the memories and love.

So while my heart hurts and longs to share things with Grandma that I no longer can, I can rejoice in the many good things God gave me through Grandma. And while I haven’t decided if I will write her another letter, I want to share my “final” letter to her that I wasn’t able to share at the funeral. (Thankfully my cousin, Erin, did a great job sharing it for me!) Maybe if I can share it, it will mark the end, the truly final letter. The closure to the sting of the end and that portion of our relationship can close. 

It probably won't end just like that. If we're being honest, it's not that easy. Nevertheless I can hope that this will be a blessing in some way - if not for my heart then for the memory of who Grandma was and the incredible way that she loved us all so much.

The final letter...

Dear Grandma,

With all that I love you, I cannot find all the right words to say goodbye and a final letter just doesn’t seem quite enough. I will surely miss our exchanges. I love you with all of my heart, Grandma. 

Thank you for the ways that you’ve shown me love. I will never forget your listening ear, your loving heart, your encouragement to follow Jesus wherever He leads me (even if it’s thousands of miles away from you), your honesty with me and your promises to keep my secrets, your banana bread recipe, your letters and cards that never missed a holiday, the packages you sent across the ocean that cost more to ship than the net worth of what was inside, your willingness to drive across the state and beyond to see your loved ones, your love for good food, family and friends, your ability to host us all for Christmas until your dying days, your love of God’s Word and how you clung to His promises, your desire for all of us to know and love Jesus, and so much more about you that I love and will miss. 

I will love you forever, Grandma. Until we hug again in heaven, I’ll be missing you with tears, joy, and a smile knowing that you’re in a better place. Give Grandpa a big hug for me. I love you and miss you both dearly.

All my love, 

If heaven had an address, I’d send you this for sure.