Tuesday, December 9, 2008

There is Living, and There is Dying

Early this morning, my Mom called me. She never calls this early in the morning-we're not early risers, usually! I knew something had to be wrong.

"Mom, are my Grandparents ok?"

I have six living Grandparents, including Tom's Grandparents, whom I love deeply and have always had a good relationship with.

Through tears my Mom explained that her dad, my Grandpa Jim Tice, had died suddenly in the night while being transported from one hospital to the next.

Can you feel the silence? When news like that comes it seems to me the earth pauses a moment while I try to take it in.

My Grandpa had pancreaitis and was recently in the ICU. Over Thanksgiving, I was able to see him. Heavily sedated, it was hard to know how much he recognized my presence.

Mara and I talked to him and told him what was going on in our lives. He was always a good listener. We held his hand and gave little massages. He could give the best back rubs! He looked just the same, even with all the tubes and lines running in and out of his body, only reclined and appearing to be asleep at times. He didn't look deathly ill.

I think we all expected he'd pull through this and laugh about it in the year ahead. We'd say, "Grandpa, do you remember when Mara and I sang to you? We sounded awful." Then he'd laugh that big belly laugh of his and shine his famous dimples. Grandpa had a lovely voice. He sang at my wedding.

Instead, I'm dealing with the reality that my beloved Grandpa is gone. No more intense games of Pente at Thanksgiving. Boy, he could sure play a mean game of Pente! I always rubbed it in when I beat him, for once.

He lived a full and happy life. He has 7 children and too many grandchildren and great-grandchildren for me to keep track of. None of us doubted how much he loved us.

We miss and love you, Grandpa. Already there is a void.

Grandpa is dead to this earthly life...but he's alive to a Heavenly one, and that's another kind of Living-the best kind.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. I had many grandparents for a very long time and know how hard it is to start losing them!

    It is a joy to know that he is now rejoicing with our savior!

  2. Oh Rachel, my heart aches for you and my eyes fill with tears. And all the while I rejoice for your Grandpa. It's an amazing thing to grieve with hope, isn't it?

    I'll be praying for your family.

  3. Rachel,
    I'm so sorry to hear of your unexpected loss. I can feel the silence and the void.
    It's so good that you were able to spend time with him at Thanksgiving. You will always be thankful for those moments.
    Kimberly Bartle

  4. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts, prayers, and words of comfort.
    They mean so much.
    Yes, I am SO thankful I was able to see him not long ago! That really comforts me right now.

  5. We're praying for you. Thanks for sharing about your grandpa. I forgot he sang at your wedding! I remember meeting him once at your mom's house.

  6. Rachel,
    I am so sorry for the loss all your family knows at this time. Grandpas are so special. I wonder if he has met Amy and my daddy yet? We love all of you. We remember you in prayer.
    Anita Martin and all the family

  7. So sorry to hear this news, but as someone else said, there is something to be said for greiving with hope!
    Blessings upon your family as you celebrate his life and his "homecoming"!