Pop died last night, about 8 pm.
After all of our watching at his bedside for the past nearly two weeks, it still came as a shock. Perhaps it was more of a shock because he was finally sleeping, finally not struggling for every breath, finally we no longer holding our collective breath.
Then. . . while everyone was together, eating shrimp & grits made by Michael and Shelly (who reminded me of Mom and Pop cooking in their kitchen), laughing over stories of Pop, someone called Mom in to Pop’s room. Was he no longer breathing?
The little kids had just left with the big kids and Aunt Sherry to go feed the turtles. They were called back, everyone confused. Was he dead? Was he not?
I called John. He wasn’t home at the moment. I called Johnny who was heading over to see John. They needed to come home.
“We didn’t feed the turtles because Grandpa died,” said one of the little kids.
I had three of them on the couch with me in the living room while everyone else was at the bedside. We read the last chapter of the Jesus Storybook Bible, all about John’s vision of heaven and the return of Jesus and how this is our story, too, when we believe and are God’s children.
We all stood together around the hospice bed where his body lay. How someone can deny the soul once they have seen a dead body is beyond me. Pop was no longer there.
We sang “Amazing Grace.” My brother-in-law’s first wife was next to me. She was there in support of her children and the parents who still welcomed her in to the family, even after the marriage ended. She sang clearly the words of every verse.
Then we all prayed together. Many were too sad (shocked? upset?) to pray aloud. But my 7yo’s sweet, clear voice earnestly thanked the Lord for Grandpa and asked for us to be comforted. I wish I could remember the words.
Q. 18. What did God give Adam and Eve besides bodies?
A. He gave them souls that could never die.
Q. 19. Have you a soul as well as a body?
A. Yes; I have a soul that can never die.
Q. 20. How do you know that you have a soul?
A. Because the Bible tells me so.
From the Catechism for Young Children