It’s been forever since I posted anything, but I’ve been thinking about something to post for the longest time.
I started a few drafts..nothing exciting, and just couldn’t find anything I really felt passionate enough about to present something beautiful to this page.
My life had just been very uneventful and peaceful. Then in one week, the world went nuts.
I hope you don’t think I’m writing this to gain your sympathy. I’m writing this with myself in mind. To get these words off my chest, and to try to get a grip on what has happened this week.
Christina Grimmie was shot after a concert on June 11 by a “deranged fan”. She was twenty-two years old. I heard this, and looked up some of her best performances, and my heart shattered. She was a true talent, who could’ve made it far in the music business. After looking into her story, I do believe she was a Christian.
Then, just a day later, 49 people were killed in a mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando; the same city where Christina was killed. I’m not going to get into the gun control debate in this chapter, though I do have things to say about it. That is a topic for another day. This was almost too much for me when I had already had a week of horror.
Last Wednesday night, June 8, my grandfather fell off the roof of his chicken coop when his sugar dropped, (he was a diabetic).
He was lifeflighted to the hospital, but was coherent. We were all sure he was gonna be fine. It was just typical Chuck. Always hurt, always doing something ornery, never sitting still. But he was too stubborn to die. No matter how many times he was supposed to die, he refused.
I went to bed prepared to get up and go into work late the next morning since the night had been so crazy.
I woke up at 8:30, and made my way out to the kitchen to get some breakfast. I peeked into my parents room, and my mom wasn’t there, which was strange. She loves to sleep, and nothing was planned for the day, so I figured she was in the bathroom or something.
I turned the corner to the living room, and could not figure out what was going on for the life of me. My mom was hugging my two younger sisters, whose tiny, innocent faces were buried into her. My dad was pacing, then stopped to look at me. His eyes were filled with emotions I had never seen him express before. Sadness, exhaustion, fear. He hugged me, and I hugged him back, unsure of what to think.
That statement right there attests to my grandpa’s personality above and beyond anything more I could say. It did not cross my mind that he had passed away until the words came out of my dad’s mouth. He was Grandpa Chuck. The guy who everyone considered to be their best friend. The guy who was the jack of all trades. The guy who everyone seemed to know, because he was just that kind of guy. The guy who everyone agreed was bull-headed and stubborn, but kinder and gentler than anyone they’d every known.
Then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone. And we were left heartbroken.
The last week has been a whirlwind. The viewing was honestly the best day I’ve had since he died. Why?
600 people came to share stories of the Chuck they knew. And they were all so similar. He was so loved.
Some people had to stand in line for an hour and a half.
We said goodbye to his body that night, and I realized what I had been feeling every time I looked at what his soul once resided in. I felt comfort. Because that is what I felt around him. Comfort. I was never worried while I was home on my own, because I knew he was just across the street. He made me safe, loved, and protected my entire life. After coming to that realization, I cried, I sobbed, and then, I realized his death did not take away that protection. I could find comfort in my friends, my family, and most importantly, God.
I’ve never had a week like this.
I’d prefer to never have one like this again.
But you know, God has a plan. He had decided it was Grandpa’s day to go be with Him, and there was nothing we could do about it.
I take great comfort in knowing that he went the way he wanted to go. He hated sitting still, and the recovery he would’ve had to go through due to his injuries from the fall would have caused him so much stress and anguish. He wanted to “die with a broken nose”. He didn’t break his nose, but I think this is kind of what he meant. 🙂
These days, I do a lot of crying, a lot of laughing, and a lot of hugging. I look at things a little differently, but try to live my life as normally as possible. I thank God a lot more for things I know I’m taking for granted.
Speaking of music, there’s another song that has helped me a lot this week. It’s called “You Make Me Brave” by Amanda Cook and Bethel Music. It talks about God being for us, and not against us. And that’s something I really needed to hear. It’s hard not to question Him at times like these, but He has my best in mind, even if that means taking the life of my grandpa. Here it is if you want to give it a listen:
I’ve never truly experienced grief before, and man…it’s weird. I cry at the weirdest times. I laugh at the weirdest times. Sometimes I cry because I’m so happy I got to spend sixteen years with him, and because I got to make so many amazing memories with him. Sometimes I cry when everyone else is happy. The worst part is that because it was such a shock, sometimes I forget why I’m sad. Then when I remember, I feel guilt like I’ve never felt before. Grief is just weird.
Thankfully, my church family, my friends and my mom’s side of the family have all been beyond helpful. I’m so blessed to have what I have when it comes to a support system. I don’t know how I would make it through this without them.
If you want to read the letter I wrote to gramps, you can do that here.
I’m sorry this chapter was a mess, but I needed to write it. Words have a way of healing, and they have helped me a lot this week.
I sit here crying, listening to “In Christ Alone”, watching the wind blow in a storm, watching his house as he always watched mine, but most of all, I’m beginning to make peace with this awful situation. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but these things make us stronger, and remind us that we aren’t invincible, and we need God. We can’t live this life on our own.
The week is over. God has a plan. He’s not going to give me anything I can’t handle. He loves me. He loves you. This world is not our home. Remember that.