The Trip - My PaPa's Transition
by Keitra Jones
I'm writing this after a year and a half after my grandpa went to be with the Lord. I really didn't understand the magnitude of the grief and it's effect on my life until now. I'm married and a mother of four wonderful children. For the first time someone extremely close to me had an illness none of us could do anything about and that was 'cancer' My grandfather began losing blood in his body and having to receive blood transfusion many months before his death. (I think he knew he had cancer, but didn't want to tell anyone) Near the end the doctors finally found the source of the bleeding. It was an ulcer within his stomach and decided to do surgery. Once in the surgery room they realized he had stage four stomach cancer and if they performed the surgery it could kill him. I remember talking to my grandfather after he got out of surgery and he said, "We all have to leave here some kinda way." He also told me not to worry about him. He was my love and that was our last time we spent alone together. I remember thinking I will make a picture in my mind of all these important moments so I will never forget them. I was getting ready for the first time in my life to leave out of the country to South Africa for a missions trip for seven days. I was nervous and excited at the same time because this was a once in a lifetime bucket list item for me. Before I left our family tradition is to visit my grandparents and that I did. My Papa wasn't really looking good. He told me his breathing was bothering him, but he kept a good poker face for me. I told him I loved him and I'd see him when we get back. While in Africa my mom e-mailed me that they put him in hospice. Hospice, I was like what is that? What does that mean? Well after explanation I called and I wanted to talk to him, but my family wouldn't really let me nor tell me what was really going on. As I headed back on the plane I couldn't wait to get back home. Once I touched down in Atlanta I called home and once I got on the ground in Houston I got a text from my cousin saying that she would be praying for me. I didn't connect the dots because I didn't want to face reality. Once I got to my grandparents house I ran through to see where he was and that's when they told me he wasn't there. He died early that Monday morning the day I got back from S. Africa. I broke out in tears. Really the week was a blur, but I remember I couldn't wait to get to the funeral home to just be near his body one last time. When I saw him I was ok because he looked asleep and I just saw him as finally resting.
My grandfather was like my dad he reared me to the age of ten and was very instrumental in my life. He helped my grandmother babysit all of our kids and he loved us. When he left me I took a blow emotionally. I couldn't figure out why six to eight months later I couldn't pull it together. I'm a teacher by trade and I had to quit because life was just to much with doing that and raising my kids. Life seemed to be caving in. I'm so glad that this site is here because I really didn't realize how normal this is and how his death effected me. I'm glad to face my grief now. I'm a believer in Christ and I read my Bible and it comforts me in this time. To anyone who is going through like me I pray that the love of Christ envelope your mind and take you through this process. There is hope, there is freedom, and acceptance in the end.