Sunday, 5 May 2013

When Hell Gets Hotter


You know in movies when the character says “Things can’t get any worse,” and then their car explodes or something? Why do you think we all find that so funny? Maybe because we can all relate to it. I know I relate to it.

                So, the school year was finally done and we were going to move. I thought my problems were over, and things would never get as bad as they were. I forgot two things though. One, I was still me. I still had to deal with the things that were wrong in my own heart otherwise my problems would never go away. Two, I forgot about one problem that didn’t involve me, but would affect me.  I forgot about my grandpa who was having a tough time of his own.  As you could probably guess, I was about to get jolted back to that reality.

                School got out on around June 8. On June 14, I was out working in one of our rental houses with two extended family members. Actually, that whole week, I had been out with them. And I was really not enjoying any of it. That whole week, they had been talking about my grandpa, and not saying the nicest things about him. Here’s the thing. No one is perfect—not even my grandpa. I’ve hurt people, and I regret it. Apparently, my grandpa had made some people angry about fifty—fifty!—years ago, and one of my extended family members wasn’t about to let it go.  Hearing all this, I got pretty ticked at my relatives, not my grandpa. How could they be so bitter toward my dying grandpa?  So, on June 14 we got a call from the care home he was staying at. He had really taken a turn for the worse, and they didn’t think he would make it through the night. Not cool.

 We left and headed to see him. It was about a thirty minute drive to see him. And the whole way, I listened to those relatives talk about what a horrible person my grandpa was. I was livid, but I didn’t show it. I just kept thinking I hope you guys have someone to say nice things about you on your deathbed, because I sure won’t. We finally got to the care home, and when I saw my grandpa, I broke down. He looked dead already. He saw us when he came in, he said, “I’m sorry; I’m sorry.” My heart  broke. He was a Christian, and he knew that he was going to heaven. Still, he couldn’t forgive himself, even though God already had.  I sat with him and held his hand.

I was so angry and hurt. And scared! No one close to me had ever died.

My relatives soon left, because they had other stuff to do, my mom was coming with my brother, and my dad was still on his way from the new city he was working at. Soon, it was just me and my dying grandpa. I watched his breaths get slower and slower. He held my hand, and I talked to him. As his breaths got slower and slower, he lifted his hands to heaven like he was reaching for Jesus.  I wanted someone to come be with me. I had never seen anyone die. I was all by myself for a while until my grandpa’s brother came, but I really didn’t know them. Finally, my grandpa’s next breath didn’t come. I checked for a pulse and found nothing. The nurse came and confirmed it. My grandpa had gone to be with Jesus.

Shortly afterwards, my dad, mom, and brother all arrived. I was still stunned and angry. I didn’t let anyone get close to me. I physically pushed people away. The only comfort I found was that my grandpa was in a better place.

Losing my grandpa was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. It sent me on a spiral downward, lower than I ever thought was possible. At the same time, I saw God in a way I never thought possible. I know he was right there, with my grandpa and with me. The image of my grandpa lifting his hands to God, who forgives and comforts, is an image that stayed with me as I struggled in the months to come. I saw God in a bigger light. I hope that if you too are struggling, you will see the God that I saw and that you will know that even when it seems like God is so far away, He’s really right there.




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