"i'm sorry you're dying"

What else can I say to a man who knows it's almost his time to leave this earth?  What else can I say to someone who just found out they won't make it to their 90th birthday?  What else can I say to a man who has been a huge part of my life?  

"I'm sorry you're dying," is the best I can do.

My Grandpa is dying of cancer.  He just found out a few weeks ago that his body is infested with cancer.  His doctors said it's probably been growing inside of him for 2-3 years.  He found a lump.  He has since found more lumps.

One day he was a happy, healthy 89-year-old man who was looking forward to his 90th birthday.  The next day, he was dying.  

He is not a man of many words.  When I ask him how he's doing, he says "so, so."  That's about all you will get out of him these days.  He has never been one to express his feelings very well, but you know he must be dying inside.  Because he is dying inside!

I found this quote that has brought me comfort over the past month:

If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity.  But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.

Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls?  Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?

If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended.  No man would have to live by faith.  

If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil-all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good.  There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls.

Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and godhood.  "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things...righteousness...wickedness...holiness...misery...good...bad..."  (2 Nephi 2:11).

Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease of comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors.  Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery...

-Spencer W. Kimball 


lindsey said...

Britney -

I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandpa. Even when they are old or sick, it still never makes it easy to say goodbye to them, and all the while know just what you will miss.

Be glad to know that you will see him again one day!

My thoughts are with you!

Heather said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Grandpa. That's how it was with Mike's dad, one day he was just fine and healthy. The next he was just sick and dying. Those were my thoughts exactly what do you say to someone who is dying? I loved that quote. Thanks.

Reeses Pieces said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa. What a beautiful post. The way you are with your words is exquisit.

Patty said...

Thanks for your words and the quote. I'm glad you are close to your Grandpa. He loves you snd your family! He is a wonderful, hard working, loving father! I am going to visit him every day and hold his hand until he passes.
I love my Father!

Michelle said...

Hard to know what to say except that I am sorry and I am so glad to hear your good attitude toward a terrible situation. I really loved that exerpt from that talk. Really good words to live by. It reminded me of something I read lately. Pull out your Bible Dictionary and read the definition of prayer. The 7th paragraph that starts
This gave me such a different perpective on prayer in general, but is esp. significant, I think, when praying for something like this.
It is actually a great feeling when you can kneel and tell your Father that you accept his will and in the meantime ask for peace and comfort until an end comes. I will keep your grandpa and your whole family in my prayers.
Love you,
P.S. Coop is cuter than words can say!!!

The Palmers said...

Now you're the one making me cry!! I think it's wonderful you had a good relationship with your grandpa. My grandparents passed before I could get to know them.