My grandpa henry passed away somewhat suddenly last Wednesday, March 26th.
Let me tell you how much I saw God's hand in my life last week.
Last sunday, march 23-24th, I was having a discussion with a good friend about loss, death, family, eternal life and the things that really matter. Looking back, I feel like that talk with him prepared me for Wednesday. Tuesday night, my friend Carrie posted on our ward's facebook page if it was fast/testimony sunday (yesterday) and I thought, "yeh I am not going to go up for testimony since I just did a few weeks ago). This will come into play later. My mom happened to have vacation from work last week and we had planned for her to come visit me two weeks prior for the 26th. On wednesday, my mom and I went to Rubio's for lunch, one of our favorite places to eat. As we were waiting for dialride to pick us up to go there, my cousin steph called but I don't like talking on the phone when I am with other people, so I texted her and told her i'd call her back later that I was with my mom. Well, about 10 minutes later, my phone is vibrating and it's my dad calling, but I didn't answer because I was literally going down the lift on the dialaride bus and it was too loud for me to answer. My mom and I order food and get settled at a table and start eating when my dad calls again. I had to pick up. I knew something was going on to have him and my cousin be calling me at the same time. I answer, say, "hi dad." and my dad replies, "hi brittany. um, grandpa henry passed away this morning. yeh, my dad passed away." what felt like a minute, was probably just a couple seconds that it took to register in my brain that grandpa was dead. I immediately start crying, which quickly turned into sobbing. my mom is crying too and got up to stand and hug me to the side and picked up the phone because I couldn't even talk to my dad.
I cried and couldn't believe this happened (the shock factor.) Different thoughts crossed my mind including, "everyone in rubio's is probably wondering what happened to that girl." Then I didn't care, my grandpa just died. After I settled down a bit, in crying I asked my dad what happened. how did it happen? He said, "i don't know. all i know is that natalie (his girlfriend) found him and that we got to get his body to the mortuary right now."
After I got off the phone with my dad, I cried off and on more and just gushed out to my mom how thankful I was that she was with me that day. It's rare that my mom visits me during the week and just the fact that she was there with me was such a blessing. Later after we got home, I had a group of friends show up as we had a meeting planned for 4pm. I completely spaced it after talking with my dad. My elder missionaries and my friend J gave me a blessing which was so comforting and my girls (aka my teachers) gave me hugs and just let me know they were there for me. My friend stayed and talked with me for an hour and I cried more. Then, later that evening my friend Des stopped by unexpectedly and we talked and cried together for a little over an hour. It was such a Spirit filled conversation I just felt so strongly God's love for me that day.
Personally, I've had many condolences offered and prayers offered on behalf of me and my family. we truly appreciate it so much. I've had many texts and phone calls and facebook comments and messages left offering words of comfort as well as just communicating with family near and far. It was honestly overwhelming those first few days, not to say that I am not grateful. it's just that my grandpa was a popular, friendly, funny guy. I am so blessed to have so many who love me. Also, i think it was thursday evening that my friend carrie stopped by with flowers for me and was good to chat with her about other things too and then my friend rachel came by saturday and again, was so therapuetic to talk about my grandpa and just his life and the last two days of memories I have with him which I'll share in another post.
So about testimony/fast sunday? Yeh, after wednesday, that night, i just knew that I had to go up and share my testimony, the things I know and believe. I did and I went up for my grandpa. To share a bit about him and even though this is a time of saddness because we miss him, there is hope in Christ and the atonement.
In Mosiah 16:7-9,
"And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
But there is a resurrection , therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death. "
It comforts me to no end that death does NOT claim victory over us. Because of Christ and his sacrifice and resurrection, He overcame death and it's such a blessing to know that death will not conquer us either and that we can have eternal life and live in a perfect paradise with our creator, God. I know I'll see my grandpa again, someday.
It's monday now, and it still hasn't quite hit me that my life is completely changed with my grandpa gone. This is my new reality: that I must keep going forward and living my life wholeheartedly and passionately as he did. I do know that I've just gone through and am going through a major life defining moment. I know everything will be good because of my Heavenly Father and the promises he has made. My faith and trust lies in Him and my grandpa would want each of his family members and friends to not be sad so much, but rejoice and honor his life and that's what we will be doing later this week. Forever yours grandpa.