A goodbye.

Update: When I wrote this piece last night, I was told that my grandma had a stroke and probably wasn’t going to come out of it. I was told that if she did, she would be paralyzed or a vegetable. But she’s a fighter and has recovered much better than expected. She’s still not doing well, but I may go visit her in Florida next week, and hopefully I’ll get to say a real goodbye. Thanks, everyone for your support.

I guess this is the goodbye that I won’t get to tell you.

I’m here stuck at school studying for my exams that don’t seem to matter anymore. From the sound of things you wouldn’t even know I was there if I could say goodbye, but still. It seems like the world should stop turning to see you off. But that’s the thing about life–you don’t get to pause it.

My sister and I always joked that you’d  outlive all of us. You always seemed so strong for 89…90…91… You seemed timeless in a sense. But I guess no one is. Not really.

I don’t know if there’s a heaven, but of course, I wouldn’t tell you that if I thought you would really be reading this. I guess whether or not I know won’t change anything, but I wish…

I wish right now, more than ever, that I knew. I wish it were as easy to believe as it used to be when I was a child and heaven was a shiny, golden castle in the clouds that was as real and as wonderful to me as sunshine or your warm, sweet potato pie.

I wish I could know.

I wish I could know that you were in good hands.

I wish my faith were stronger for you. Oh, how I wish that.

But since I can’t know, I’ll hope.

I’ll hope that heaven is a place where Matlock is always on and where the book shelves are always filled with Readers Digest condensed books.

Where Debbie and Neil and Lee and Grandpa are waiting.

I hope it’s not hard.

I hope it’s like falling asleep.

I hope it’s like rest.

I hope it’s like warmth with God’s love all around.

I hope that with all the pieces of my broken faith, glued together with my love for you.

But since I can’t know, life seems more precious. So short, even at 92. So fragile. A vapor slipping through my hands.

I’ll always remember what that life meant to me.

I love you, Grandma.

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  • James Logan Reasor

    My condolences. How many times have I wished to have coffee with my grandfather again? I’ve lost count…

    The one thing I can tell you is that the hole will fill up, things will get better, the sun will keep shining. You will heal.

    Take care,

  • Beautiful tribute! Sorry about your loss.

  • So sorry for you loss. What a lovely piece of writing about your grandmother.

    • thank you. she actually came out of the stroke she had last night (doctors didn’t think she was going to make it through the night), and I may get to see her again and say an actual goodbye if she lives through the week.

      • oh, I hope you get to!

      • I am so glad! (not that this has happened obviously, but that you may be able to say goodbye) I hope you don’t think it’s a hollow sentiment when I say that I am really praying that you will make it in time to say goodbye to her.

  • I’m sorry, Sarah.

    “I hope that with all the pieces of my broken faith, glued together with my love for you.”

    I love this line, the heart behind it.

  • Oh, Sarah, I’m so sorry. *hugs* it’s hard. My grandmother died on April 15th.

    Praying for you and your family.

  • erica Kaiser

    um..shes not dead. fyi

    • I’m aware. I’m preparing myself for what seems to be the inevitable.

      • …especially since I wrote this last night when the doctors thought her stroke was much more serious and thought she couldn’t come out of it. I know we aren’t friends anymore because you don’t like my new beliefs, but this comment seems dismissive and rude. Please don’t act like that.

  • Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece with us. Your raw hopes and wishes…powerful and touching. Peace, honesty and comfort in this time of transition.

  • marie

    Such poignant words. . .love and condolences to you, Sarah.

  • erica Kaiser

    i wasn’t trying to be rude. It just made it sound like shes dead and she’s not & obviously I’m not the only one who felt that way look at all the comments. You confused people.

    • well you were very rude. please leave me alone.

    • kisekileia

      Look, you’re clearly just trying to pick a fight here. It’s obvious to anyone with actual reading comprehension ability that Sarah’s grandmother is not dead yet, and that would have been clear from a reasonably careful reading of the post even before Sarah added the update. It’s not exactly a good Christian witness to piss all over someone’s grief like you just did.

  • Jim Fisher

    Oh Sarah! I have been to the other side of life … heaven IS for real.

    I wrote a poem to say good-bye to my dear friend’s mom while she lay dying in the hospital. A few months later, my own mom died and it has been as source of comfort for me ever since. I pray you find comfort and peace in it as well.