Granny exhaled her final breath in this world and then in an instant, faster than the twinkle of an eye, her spiritual eyes were opened. “To be absent from the body is to be present from the Lord.” Her soul left its bruised and battered body; a body which had fought such a good fight for so long.
In that moment, Granny saw Jesus Christ for the very first time. What an incredible thought. Did she run into His arms the way a child runs off of the school bus into a parent’s loving embrace at the end of the day? Did she recount her time on earth; the extreme bliss and greatest heartbreaks, as if He had not authored every one of her days before she was even born? Or, was she quiet, content just to finally be in His presence?
Looking back, did this earthly world look like a foggy shadow compared to the crisp reality of eternity? Did she hear “things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words”? Pondering on what those inexpressible things might be could keep me awake all night. As CS Lewis so beautifully wrote, “all loneliness, angers, hatreds, envies, and itchings… if rolled into one single experience and put into the scale against the least moment of the joy that is felt by the least in Heaven, would have no weight that could be registered at all.”
This is the first time I’ve experienced death in my family. The first time death has become real and close. The brevity of life has become such a reality to me. A familiar feeling crept into my heart this evening; a feeling I’d experienced only once before. A realization that someone so close to me is now really gone.
But, because of Jesus, I know that I will see her again. I will see that infectious smile again, and those big blue eyes. I will hear her laugh again; that laugh that dozens have mentioned since her passing. I treasure in my heart the smile we shared in the hospital, despite her pain.
I love you Granny. I’m so happy you’re with Jesus now celebrating His birthday. Merry Christmas. Someday we will be together again.