I woke up this morning to news that my Grandpa Dent had passed away.
Although he was nearing 88, his death was sudden and unexpected.
He's my first grandparent to go, so I wasn't prepared for the tidal wave of grief.
My grief isn't for him, of course.
Grandpa is happy and whole in heaven,
with his parents, siblings, and other family members who have gone before.
But those who remain,
those whose hearts are broken,
those whose daily lives now have a permanent hole,
who will miss him terribly until they are again united with him,
those are the people for whom I grieve.
I well remember the last time I saw Grandpa Dent (sadly, in April 2011),
when we ate lunch together with my mom and grandma
at The Golden Corrall after Women's Conference.
He was cracking jokes (I loved his dry humor) one minute
and pulling out Grandma's chair for her the next.
When we walked to our cars, he and Grandma held hands.
Grandpa was a tease and a master tickler.
He was fastidious about his appearance;
I never saw his hair out of place or saw him wear jeans or tennis shoes,
even when he spent a full day working in the yard.
He and Grandma have a glorious yard,
and they do all the planting and sowing and weeding and mowing and raking themselves.
I loved to watch him snooze in his kitchen rocking chair.
I loved hearing him tell stories about his life,
about his time in the military,
and about how much he loved Grandma and his girls.
I have such fond memories of Grandpa cradling my babies on his lap,
just like he cradled me when I was new.
Even though I don't live near my grandparents,
I almost can't stand the thought that he's gone,
that I'll never see his twinkling smile again in this life.
And the thought of my grandma living alone breaks my heart.
I find comfort in this Mormon Message about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin explains
that grief and pain surrounding the death of a loved one
can be swallowed up in the joy and hope
of eternal life with our Savior.
I know that someday I will see my grandpa again.
And I look forward to the reunion.