My husband’s grandmother passed away nearly 2 weeks ago. In her passing, we’ve all embraced the opportunity to come together in celebrating her life. Though she will be missed and the hurt resulting from the loss of her presence is real, she lived a significant life, so it’s very hard to be sad at this time. Here are just a few of her very simple, but awe-inspiring accomplishments:
- She lived to be 95 years old, was coherent and remained socially and physically active for 94 of those years.
- She enjoyed 77 years of marriage to a man she’d known for 88 years. Had she survived another two months, they would have celebrated 78 years as husband and wife.
- Of her 5 children, each one is alive, healthy, able-bodied and living a productive life according to the values she instilled in them.
- Her 97 year old husband, 3 of her children and 1 of her grandchildren were at her side when she made her transition, peacefully and at home.
- In both of her memorial services (yes, I said “both”…she was THAT popular), the church was packed with family and friends who shared nothing but fond and funny memories about the things that she taught them about life, marriage and motherhood in her quiet, but effective way.
Though she was a simple woman, she exemplified strength and integrity. As a very religious Christian, she lived her personal truth in every day life, which brought her peace and kindness at every turn. It couldn’t have been easy for her to marry so young and raise 5 children during the 1930s and 1940s as a Black woman in America. Together, they lived in at least 3 different states as her husband was busy pastoring and building churches. Because of his work, he traveled a lot. Many of those trips she took with him, but many of them left her alone with the children. My husband’s grandfather, though, says she was always easy going, never complained, always supported him and that she had a knack for making a way out of no way even during the darkest times.
When a person like this passes away, what is there really to be sad about? How many people live to be her age and, for the most part, in good health? How many are blessed to see all of their children grow into being positive, productive individuals and for none of them to precede her in death? How many people can actually say that they’ve survived 77 years of a strong marriage?
She lived a good, happy, long, admirable, blessed life. When she left, it was simply because it was her time. A few people are taken aback when I say that we are rejoicing at this time, but with a life so well lived what else can we do?