Our loss is Heaven’s Gain

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It began like any normal Friday night.

Or maybe I should say like any normal Friday night at a blogging conference.
You’ve met new friends, gone out to dinner and naturally the next stop is Swig.
Because cookies, right?

The anticipation and excitement was killing me.
I had seen the pictures.
Heard the buzz.
I mean Dirty Coke with no alcohol, say what?
Oh and I had heard the sugar cookies were to die for

So after dinner, even though we had stuffed ourselves to the core,
we began the drive.
I remember sitting in the middle seat
watching the lights as we drove by each exit on our way to Swig.
The laughter filled the air around me.
The banter brought me back to the conversation and I began to chime in.

As we pulled in to the drive thru I sat back, slouching in my seat,
my head leaning back against the seat,
taking in the moment.
My phone began to ring, interrupting the moment.
I blinked back into reality and casually answered my phone.
I recognized the voice on the other end of the phone.
It was my Dad.

I felt my heart begin to sink to the floor.
The laughter around me and the bustle of excitement became a distant noise.
I knew all too well that his call meant he had an update.
I listened as he told me that Grandpa was “transitioning”
that they were putting him on oxygen and morphine.
Immediately I felt myself pulled back to this time last year
when we were watching Papa Circle “transition” before our eyes.
My heart began to ache as I remembered Kyle’s Grandma’s face, her broken heart.

Even though I had traveled this all too familiar rode before.
The second time doesn’t make you more of an expert
It doesn’t give you more wisdom
or hurt any less. The ache is still there. Only, this time
it’s worse, because you know the heartache that follows as well.

I wished in that moment that I was sitting next to my Dad.
So I could hug him and sit with with him.
Instead I felt my heart tense up and my eyes burn as I tried to hold it together
and order my sugar cookie.

We hung up and I sat there, trying to embrace the laughter once again.
To block out the sadness that was overwhelming me.
It was washing over me like waves from my toes to my head.
Back at the hotel, I began to busy myself meeting new people.
Trying to survive the news.

When I didn’t hear from my Dad on Saturday,
I found myself cheering on Hope.
Hope that my Grandpa would pull through.
In so many ways he did. My cousin was pregnant with her third sweet baby.
And that sweet baby girl arrived on Saturday night, 2 1/2 weeks early.
His 13th great-grandbaby.

As I packed my things on Sunday morning, my phone began to ring.
From the number on the display, I knew my Dad was calling.
The words barely escaped his lips.
My Grandpa had passed early that morning.
He passed with my Grandma by his side and tears in his eyes.
I truly believe those tears were of joy to meet his maker,
His Heavenly Father, who he so faithfully served his whole life,
and sadness knowing he was leaving behind my Grandma, his love of 65 years.

Even now, I’m shaking as I write this.
I still feel a deep loss of words,
quite possibly from this deep loss of an amazing man.
A pillar of our family.
And loosing him in the midst of traveling has made my heart ache
for my family.
It’s made me miss them so much.
The grieving process is not meant to be a lonely one,
yet it has felt so much that way.

Time hasn’t slowed,
emails don’t stop,
work still has to get done.
Yet sleep doesn’t come.
All that lingers is the immense loss and sadness.

Thank you for all your kind words, emails, text messages and Instagram comments. I’m so overwhelmed by how incredibly wonderful this blogging community is. These are the moments when we become family. I want you to know your prayers are felt and they are so appreciated. More than you will ever know. I’m thankful and grateful, in the midst of the sadness, to know that Heaven is rejoicing, for our loss, is their gain and I know that Grandpa is no longer in pain and he is dancing with Jesus! And there truly is no greater joy in the midst of sorrow than that.

We will miss you Grandpa!

xo, Alissa