But what if you don’t get the chance to say goodbye?

My paternal grandmother (TuTu) passed away this year on May 11. She was 83 years old. I’m grateful that the Lord took her quietly and peacefully, without pain or lengthy illness. We were not aware that she was sick, so we did not get to say a final goodbye. I am comforted that I spoke with her about a week before her death. She told me, just like always, how much she loved me and I did the same to her. Then we said goodbye…until next time… expecting to see each other again soon at the upcoming family weddings. Oh how I miss her.

Our family just had her memorial service this past Friday after Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful celebration of her life. Someday I hope to be able to write her whole story (at least as I know it). I wrote a bit about her in this post (please read it, it is one of my all-time favorites), but there is so much more to share. Her life was filled with joy, pain, love, and heartache. I suppose that makes it no different from our own stories, but I’ve always felt a particular connection to hers.

TuTu was one of the rocks in my life. From the day I was born until the day she left this earth, we had a special bond. As a child, she spoiled me, dried my tears, and I was comforted. As an adult, she shared some tough life lessons, provided guidance, and I was grateful. Even though she lived far away these past years, she was always so interested and engaged in what we were up to. She truly cared.

Even though the path of her life was often rocky, her faith was sure. She worked hard, played hard, and loved mightily. Her Irish temper and stubbornness was, and is, the source of many jokes and stories in our family. She was not always easy to get along with, but her intentions were good. She was saint and sinner all at once, as are all who have Christ within. And now… she rests in the arms of her Savior.

I am not sad for TuTu. She used to love watching the news and being “in the know” about current events. She is smirking right now because she understands the age-old mysteries, and we are left to wonder. She is basking in the presence of the very God who created all that we know. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. Corinthians 13:12

On the way home from our annual Thanksgiving trip this year, Audrey said, “Let’s not talk about Thanksgiving anymore. It makes me sad that it is over.” If only it were that easy, my darling. Grief is hard. Missing someone you love is almost unbearable. What a blessing that we have the hope of seeing them once again. I know you are waiting for us, TuTu. Goodbye…for now…until we meet again…all my love. Laura