Today’s a day that threatens to make my heart ache with memories of shock and grief, but instead I’m choosing to remember love.
When my Granddaddy passed away suddenly in the middle of the night four years ago, it knocked the wind out of our lungs. How do you stand and walk when you can’t breathe? It’s easy to just remember the pain since it was so acute – and still is most days.
But today I’m going back to the afternoon when I sat on the end of my bed with one of my best friends, who had come over immediately when I called and brought chocolate and her ears. She walked into my grief with me and didn’t try to fix it. She let me cry and cry and cry.
I remember when the doorbell rang, not someone we were expecting, and a friend’s mom was there, holding containers of homemade soup. I remember how she cried when she hugged us, and it wasn’t fake compassion. I remember tasting the compassion in the soup.
I remember when our friends from church came over, how their hugs squeezed tears out of me. I remember one of them saying while he hugged me, “Is this your first grandparent to lose?” When I nodded, he said, “It’s so hard,” and his validation made my enormous wave of grief leak out onto his suit coat.
I remember countless containers of food at my grandma’s house, how she wouldn’t have to cook for at least two weeks after the funeral. I remember that my volleyball team had sent beautiful flowers to her, all the way to Oklahoma to show solidarity.
I remember love. Those are some of the most Christlike examples of love I’ve known. And I think Granddaddy would want me to remember that, even though I could just as easily talk about how much I still miss him. How we all do.