There is something about the impending death of a loved one that is especially difficult to deal with. My grandfather has been in a care home for six years and over the last few months his health has steadily declined. This morning we received a call that he had a massive stroke and will likely not make it through the week. My grandpa, Manuel, is 90 years old and has a body that won’t submit but this stroke will override his strength. He will not overcome this. He will die. Likely, sooner rather than later. Our family gathers around to say goodbye, to weep and to wait.
This is not the first time I have found myself in this place. Although drastically different, today was reminiscent of a day that felt like a lifetime ago. Similar because I'm in a state of knowing the end is drawing near for someone I care for and helpless in changing the outcome. As a family, we wait on the threshold with him, in a liminal space, for his passing and our grief. This space feels like an expanse of anticipatory dread. We sit in wait for it to envelop us. It will come and the knowing is what makes it hard.
I am more prepared on this day, though, for the time that lies ahead. I know grief is a liar. It will try and convince people they made the wrong decisions. It will induce guilt for a plethora of reasons. A wave of emotional pain will wash over our family and rest where it can. I know grief’s game and I am prepared. How I will fair, only time will tell. I’m not sure how I will come out on the other side but I know I stand on the precipice of mourning. So with that, I join my family in the wait to say goodbye to the patriarch of our family.
Please keep our family in your prayers during this time.