As we were preparing to move to Europe, we were told to expect to miss out on certain life events among our families and close friends. Weddings, births, deaths... things that signal that life does indeed go on, even if we're not there to share in it. So, we've missed attending a few weddings, didn't get to see some new little family members born, and now we've been unable to say goodbye to a patriarch.
The husband's maternal grandfather died last week. It wasn't altogether unexpected. He was sick, and progressively getting weaker, and for years we felt like every goodbye might be the last. We were sad, to be sure, but we were OK. Because he was no longer tired, weak, frustrated... he was fully alive, whole, perfected! This tricky dichotomy of being Christ-followers whose only true home is with Him above, but still ache at the leaving, the homegoing, the departing of a loved one who was always there.
Husband was a real trouper. But as funeral day came, melancholy set upon our household. Random tears were shed throughout the day. Phone calls home were planned, and then cancelled, and then hastily made only to leave a message for an empty house across the sea. It was hard to be away, to not be able to hug Mom, or comfort Sister, or sit by Grandma. It was hard to not be there, to not say a few words, to not appreciate a day for family and memories.
My man, who is slightly unfamiliar with open vulnerability, couldn't really hide all those hard things from me, here where it's just us and our little family. I think maybe it was good to share it - the few tears and the short silences - with only eachother, but still...
...To be with family, even if just to say goodbye, would lessen the heartache... and increase the joy found in a life well-lived, and a man who now is Home.