My Gran died on Sunday evening; it was kind of sudden; I thought she’d live forever.
She was the kind of granny who still worked; a dog trainer. When her bakkie broke down (which was frequent as she wasn’t wealthy and maintenance costs are high) she’d jog to the training grounds; sometimes 5km’s there and 5km’s back. She puffed through a pack a day. She played bowls. She’d been twice married and twice widowed. She was a Methodist. She loved birds and dogs and gardening. Her daughters look just like her and when she told me she loved me the day before she passed I was moved to tears. She was hard in ways and soft in others.
So today Liezl, the kids and I are trekking across the country to attend her funeral. Now we’re not a National Road family and decided to take the road less travelled, Potchefstroom, Bultfontein, Hoopstad and a couple of other one horse towns winding through the mielie farmlands of the Free State.
My wife loving took my cell phone away so I could focus on the family. We argued about my backseat driving habits, we laughed about the politicians on the radio, we ate breakfast, lunch and padkos on the side of the road, we chatted to the kids and listened to some Disney classics. We saw a man-sized eagle. It was therapeutic.
Around Springfontein Liezl noticed Kaitlyn crying.
“What’s up love?”
“I miss Granny.”
“That’s OK honey, we all do, grab some tissue paper and blow your nose.”
Truth is I know there are different ways to grieve, and it’s not like I’ve not shed a tear or two myself, but I like the way our family expresses it’s grieve. We mourn, but not as one given over to defeat. We’ll cry, we’ll grieve, we might weep but we do not despair, we do not wail, we do not spiral into utter hopelessness. We have a hope.
Consider Paul’s words to the Thesolonians,