(Posted Nov. 10, 2009 on my Facebook)
It's hard to imagine that it's almost been a year and a half since my grandpa went home to be in the arms of Jesus. I can actually still remember the night I found out and the week that followed. I remember I was crying buckets pretty much all week. Don't get me wrong... I was and still am extremely happy for Grandpa. As far as I or my family knows, he didn't suffer much at all. Or at least he didn't let the family know. And he died while doing one of the things he knew all too well: serving people. I'm grateful that my grandma wasn't there immediately because of the fact that it probably would've scared her really bad.
It was during this time that I learned a ton of how to really console folks. Everyone handles death differently. For those who know the Lord, it's a very joyous and yet saddening thing. It's joyful because you know that the person is with Jesus, their Lord and Savior. Now, obviously for someone who doesn't know Jesus as that, its a much different end. Some people cry a lot and then some you might have to slam their hand in the car door to get a tear. Since we're all unique beings, we all express ourselves differently. And my grandpa's death taught me a lot in how to minister more effectively to people in these situations and in life in general.
Being a guy, when someone comes to me with a problem, my immediate reaction is to fix the situation. I want to right the wrongs. However, that is sometimes the wrong approach. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is just spend time w/ the grieving people. I can tell you this: it helps nothing to put on a false face. It's ok to express emotions. Letting folks deal with the problem at hand is way better than giving them a lecture. Let the grieving one do the talking. That's what i learned. And don't be surprised at what you'll hear. Let the emotions out and let the healing process take place.
Things like this usually aren't a once and done thing. It takes time for healing to take place. I know for myself, i'll be doing fine a lot of the times and then something will happen and a memory comes up. Now for me, I worried more about my family more than anything. It's literally like when you loose someone who used to do everything and suddenly they're not there anymore, others get to step up to the plate. The body gets to be the body and fill in where needed.
I'm soo grateful for my grandparents home church there, New Life Fellowship in Ephrata. They totally stepped up to the plate. For the viewing, they have refreshments for the family and they just opened their hearts to us.
So, I hope this was beneficial to someone out there. That's why I wrote it.