While the days, weeks and months passed, a hidden part of me was paralyzed and found settling in difficult. A "normal" that didn't include a member of my family who had always been there was simply difficult to comprehend.
Caught off guard and unprepared to lose my grandpa, that December day and that phone call still echo in my head.The movements of the following days in which the the family who gathered to say goodbye were mixed with familiar hometown faces.
One year later, my thoughts turn to fond memories and many stories I heard through the years. I still hear his voice and see his every movement from my last visit with him just a few weeks prior. His bushy eyebrows, his hardworking, but softened hands, the way he looked at grandma and his hearty laugh.
Not surprisingly, just six month later, grandma joined him. As in life, so too in death, their souls longed to be together.
This Advent, I am comforted by the hope that they are together in heaven. I am consoled by the peace that I pray their eternity brings.
And yet, there is the finality that the sight of dates on a gravestone brings.
The bittersweet parts of our hope and our faith that touch our heartstrings a little more deeply on days such as this.