Friday, April 5, 2013

harder, but better

I told Adam the other day that if I'm completely honest with myself I think it's harder this way. This prolonged goodbye.

It's better, absolutely, but it's harder, too.

We've been up there the last six weekends since Grandpa got sick. Many visits in the hospital and one beautiful day together at his home. We've had time. Time to make sure he knows how much we love him, how much he has impacted our lives, time to pass on messages from friends and family, time to pray together and time to cry. Time to say our goodbyes.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

But it is so hard.

It's heartwrenching to see my Grandpa, my hero, who was always so strong, so vital, so much larger than life, sick and weak - dying. It's hard to face his mortality, and it's impossible to wrap my mind around the impending loss.

It takes all my strength to walk away each Sunday thinking that it is probably the last time, to let go of his warm hand and walk out the door.

If I'm honest - it'd be easier to stay away. I'd rather run away from my emotions and not face them head on. Over and over and over again.

And while I'm being so honest - it'd be nice to have weekends at home again. We are tired. We are selfish. We want to stay home.

But I'm learning the practical application of a lesson whose theory I have long known. This is life - all of it, good and bad, hard and easy. Grandpa has brought more joy, laughter and love into my life than I can express. The very least I can do is to enter into the pain and the sorrow and the hard times with him. I don't only get the fun times. I don't have that right.

And here's the thing. This isn't for him anyway, not really. While I'd do anything in the world for him, he doesn't need us there. He knows we love him and he is certainly not wanting for visitors. We're the ones benefiting the most from these visits. These beautiful, heart-wrenching moments together.

I don't only get the fun times. And, I don't want to.

This is harder, but it is better.