Dealing With Grief

A week ago, I lost my grandmother. As much as I know that she will be gone soon, nothing could have prepared me for that day. I am writing this to help me cope with our recent loss as well as try to comfort others who might be in the same situation as I am: grieving.

My grandmother has been bedridden for more than two years because of an accident that needed an operation on her right pelvic bone and indeed it has been two difficult years for her and for the family. To add to that, she is also suffering from dementia, a condition that makes it hard for her to remember. Slowly, over the years…she forgets things and even people. 

But my lola lived a full and long life, which now as I look back to remember her life, I realize that God has been gracious to us for letting us have several years more with lola after she survived cancer several years ago. Here are some memories I had with lola (I’ll put in bullet form so you won’t get bored)

  • I remember when I was a child, I had a nightmare. I dreamed about my lola and that she died. The next thing I know she woke me up because I was crying, I hugged her and told her about the dream. She prayed with me and assured me that she’s there with me and that it was only a dream. My lola taught me to pray always.
  • My lola is known for being modest and strict especially when it comes to boys so when Amos entered the scene, she always reminded me about purity and modesty. She would always check on us when we are at home and would always give that look on her face that is telling us to be mindful of our actions. 🙂
  •  Lola loves to sing. I remember when I was a child, she always had a red book of hymns with her and she would teach me songs from it. Some of her favorites were Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art.
  • I also learned a lot from her academically. She would be my tutor especially in reading and spelling. I remember her tip in spelling: read the word as how it is spelled so you will always remember the spelling like for example “receive = re-ce-i-ve”. With that tip in my mind, I won a few spelling bees at school. 😉
  • Lola loves to be with people, whenever we have visitors at home she would always cook meals for them. I remember this past year that she was already having a hard time to remember and was already bedridden, whenever someone would visit her she would still say to us “O, pakainin niyo muna sila..kain muna kayo!” Lola taught me to be hospitable.

And I have several more memories with her but because I don’t want this to be a super long post, I’ll just cut it there. 

I praise the Lord for answering some of my prayers about lola, 4 years ago my lola told me that when I get married, everyone in the family will be happy. 2 years ago, after she had the accident, my prayer to God was for my lola to be with us in the wedding and though it was impossible during that time I praise Him because lola was able to see me on my wedding dress when we got home from the venue. I chose not to change until I saw her, I remember her smile that night. 😄

It was also an answered prayer for me when she saw Amy for the first time. 

I praise the Lord for letting us have lola over those years. And now I know she is happy and well in heaven. No more pain and no more sorrow.

But, grief is still very much present in the lives of those she left behind. I am still crying, I still remember that painful day when I witnessed that moment she entered glory. I miss her everyday. 

But I learned through God’s Word and through the preachings I’ve heard this past week from Pastor Jun and Pastor Amos, I can deal with grief by turning it to thanksgiving. 

I thank the Lord for my lola, I thank Him for the time we had with her, I thank the Lord for the peace and comfort He is giving me everyday and I thank Him for my family especially for my husband who has been there to comfort me everytime I feel down. 

I have one last conversation with lola and that was last Feb. 14, I have this yearly tradition of buying flowers for my mom and lola. This year, when I gave her the rose, she did not respond. She was already very weak at this point. So I just told her I’ll put it on display for her to see. An hour later, my mom told me to take a picture of lola with the rose so I went back to her room and gave the rose again after saying “happy valentines” then she suddenly spoke and said Thank you! To which I responded, I love you lola and gave her a kiss on the forehead. 

That was the last time I was able to hear her talk to me. 

This is definitely the hardest week of my life. But I thank the Lord because we have hope. A hope that someday we will be reunited with lola in heaven, and that hope lies in our salvation. Because I believed and accepted Christ as my Savior just like lola,  I know that we’re heading towards the same destination: heaven. Not for what we have done but for what Christ has done for us. That gives me hope and that is what helps me deal with grief day by day.

Only Christ can give you hope, if you do not know Him then this is the time to accept the free gift of salvation, God loves you. 

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