The Final Rest

Recently, my grandmother died and with her I lost the final of my closest grandparents.

When my grandparents came to visit, usually around Christmas time, my family and I would enjoy the time with them and wish it would last forever. But, as always happened, the time came to an end. They would pull their car out of the driveway, and head down the street. My brother Nate and I had this tradition: we would run on the sidewalk alongside the car as fast and as long as we could until we could no longer stay abreast. Then we would stop and pant and have a rest and wave goodbye.

Some of my grandmother’s last words were “maybe I just need to rest”.

I doubt she knew she was destined to die just hours later. But she longed for rest.

I cannot stand here and tell you with surety what happens after death, but I can tell you for certain what my grandmother believed. She believed in a swift flight to a celestial city and a reuniting with her Savior, Jesus, and the love of her life, my grandfather.

I am no theologian nor scientist; I don’t know what happens when breathing ceases. But I can tell you about a life. My grandmother’s life was a long journey full of happiness and joy. But the thing about long journeys is they often tire the soul and come with setbacks and sorrow. And you long for rest at the end.

My grandmother lived surrounded by many friends, family, and loved ones. She enjoyed nothing more than serving others and loving many. Many can attest to my grandmother’s caring way. But it wasn’t always easy, especially of late as injury and illness started to steal her vitality. And more and more the loneliness of lost love weighed on her heart. And she longed for rest.

I’d like to think that somewhere, my grandparents are reunited, once again young lovers full of life.

But I simply don’t know. What I do believe, what I hope, is that after death came a rest. A rest from this world, perhaps in another.

Did heaven await my grandmother in the form of God’s arms and grandpa’s embrace?

I only know this: my grandmother is finally at rest, from all sorrow and weariness and pain. And that is a comfort to me.

On Friday last week, we laid my grandmother to rest in the Ohio ground. I wrote the following to memorialize that rest.


Into the ground, into dust.
We weep the sorrow of failed fires
and ashes to ashes.

Like the old prayer rhyme
Now I lay her down
To sleep the forever sleep

I pray what lord on high
Her soul to snatch
And in bulwarks keep

Here on earth her shell
Is buried, betwixt her beloveds
‘Neath earth’n deep

Into the ground, into dust.
We weep the sorrow of failed fires
and ashes to ashes.

I will miss my grandparents, now that they no longer walk this earth, but at least they are both together now and are at rest.