The Art of Goodbye

The past couple weeks have been the most emotional that I have ever had.

My heart is heavy.  

I've found myself in unfamiliar land.  

The Land of Goodbyes.

I've never been one who could express myself adequately through the spoken word, so to find my release I will write.

I've spent 28 1/2 years not having to say goodbye.

I've said my share of "I'll see you later"'s.  

I've lived hundreds of miles from family and driven away with tears in my eyes plenty of times.

But Goodbye?

This will be my first. 

Last Tuesday, I lost my Grandpa.

Our amazing Papa Moose.

He's been fighting for years and his rest finally came.

We've known it's coming for awhile, but the realization of the finality of it is sobering and heartbreaking and almost unbearable.

I was able to fly up to Minnesota alone and spend two days sitting by his side.

I will cherish those days for the rest of my life.

All of this has taught me a lot, but mostly, it's shown me how much I've missed by being so far from home.

I don't regret it and I don't plan to run back to the North Woods, but it does sting.

So I'm trying to focus instead on all that Papa Moose taught me.

Like Faith has nothing to do with religion.

And family comes first.

And playing Smear is a must at all family gatherings.

He taught me by example.

By being a present force in our family.  Constantly at the helm, steering, directing, guiding each of us.  Being sure we always knew that he was there.  No matter what.

And there have been a lot of times in my life that I required a No Matter What kind of love.

I'm sure I broke his heart many times.

But I hope that in the end, he was proud of me.

That he could look at Josie and Gabriel and know that his legacy will carry on.

That he knew the change in me was because of the values he instilled in me when I was barely walking.

In his last moments on this Earth, he looked at my Grandma, smiled, and said, "Perfect-o."

And how can any of us argue with that?

While his life, all of our lives, have been far from easy, they are, at the end, perfect-o.

Our God is so faithful.

Oh, how I love that man.  The amount I miss him is crushing.

He used to love to tell me about the time he was watching me from the deck at The Ranch and I stood on one side of the river and a deer on the other.  He said we stared at each other for what felt like forever.

He said it was an image that he would never forget.

And I love that he carried a memory of me like that for so long.

It's been an emotional week.

From watching Gabe's Birth Mother cry out at what she lost to losing a man I've admired my entire life.

We will be spending the next couple weeks in Minnesota, soaking up all the family we can.

And playing a few games of Smear.

Because I know Papa Moose wouldn't have it any other way.


Coastalpines said...

You have certainly had a rollercoaster of a week. Sorry for your loss, now you have an angel watching over your family from heaven...

Donovan Doins said...

So sorry for your losses. Losses that are precious and heart breaking.
What an amazing legacay your Grandpa left.

kimmer said...

I love your words, I love the photos...what a sweet tribute to a most awesome man. We will miss him but carry him in our hearts and in our memories always.

The Edberg's said...

Such an emotional time for you all. I can bet he is proud of you and smiling down from heaven. I am thinking of you and family during this time - prayers and peace be with you.

Crystal said...

Nicole, I am so sorry for your loss. I cried tears for you & your family as I read your post. I know about loss & how deeply it can sting. I have lost several important people and 1 month ago today I lost my aunt. Your Papa Moose seems like he was an amazing man & I am sure he was proud of you. Hugs & many prayers to your family.

Kaia said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I had to say goodbye to my grandmother 2 weeks ago also. I Thessalonians 4:13-18. We sorry not as the world sorrows, but have hope of seeing them again! Praise God!

MyLinda said...

I am sorry for your loss, he sounds like he was a wonderful man!

Bethany Annette said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Nicole. What a crazy week this must have been for you. He sounds like he was an incredible man!

Praying for you and your family!

Kameron said...

I will be thinking of you and your family. It is so hard to lose someone you love. HUGS!