As I remember my Grandpa today, one year after his death, I realize that I’m grieving twice. You see, Grandpa died last year on Good Friday. As expected, this year on Good Friday I was remembering two deaths, Grandpa and Jesus.
Grandpa was not a believer of Christ. He often used the name of Christ as a cuss word. Grandpa was a World War Two veteran, served many months on a submarine, and later was a prison guard. One of his prison guard duties was to escort Charles Manson to his doctor appointments. Grandpa was not a believer.
He lived in a house with a devoted Lutheran wife. He and Grandma met when they were 14 years old, married at 16 years old and stayed together until his death last year.
At his memorial service, the chapel was filled with a family of believers. We spoke of Grandpa’s legacy and we cried tears for Grandma’s loss. Grandpa sternly warned us that he did not want a celebration after he died, saying he “hated people who drank and ate and had a party after someone dies.” Grandpa was not a believer. He feared death and was too stubborn to listen to those who believed.
Grandpa’s last words on April 10, 2009 were cussing God.
I grieve my Grandpa today because he did not know the most powerful love of all: Christ.
Grandpa loved children, especially little girls like me. He wanted the world for me, never angered at me, was patient with me and loved me with his heart and soul.
I wanted that for Grandpa, too.
Today I grieve that Grandpa did not know Christ.
I pray that you will know God’s unfailing love, experiencing peace and lack of fear. My Grandpa’s legacy motivates me to lead each of you in Bible study. On the day you die, may it be a celebration of life and a hope for your future. May you rise with t he King and be embraced by His love. May your last breath be “into your arms I welcome your love, Father God.”