It was four years ago today that my Grandpa Morris fell asleep in the Lord.
It was really early on a Sunday morning, probably around 2am. I was sleeping and Betsy came and woke me. Apparently mom had called and said that Grandpa wasn't going to live much longer. Then the phone rang and it was either mom or dad telling Betsy that grandpa has passed away. All I can remember is that I wasn't really affected by it then. So, I went back to bed.
I went to church the next morning by myself, Craig might have gone as well. I don't remember exactly. I think it was just me. And it was hard listening to the liturgy and hymns because it wasn't simply rote singing. It was true. Don't ask me what the hymns were, I don't remember. But the liturgy was either page 5 or 15 from The Lutheran Hymnal. There's something special about confession and absolution after a loved one dies. It sinks in a little bit more. The singing of "Lord, have mercy upon us" has a truer ring when your heart is torn by a loss. And a pronouncement of "On on earth peace, good will toward men" makes men mindful of the peace God gives even in the midst of such turmoil. I cannot tell you what the reading for that Sunday were, nor what the sermon was about. And we must have had communion (so I guess pg 15) because I remember the Nunc Dimittis so very well:
"Lord now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word."Then I can remember that I was an usher that day. But, I felt bad because that was the day we also welcomed Sasha and her husband (whose name escapes me at this time, sorry!) to the church as members, yet everyone was so intent on saying how sorry they were for my loss that I felt as if the new members were being overlooked. I think it would have been best had I not ushered that day.
I went back to OU that evening. I had classes the next day. It also happened to be my birthday. I don't remember much about that day, except that I went on a quasi-date. It probably wasn't a date, but it was nice to have her around. Her name was Shirley. I was living at Campus Lodge then, and we went for a walk. There is this small wooden bridge that sat out on the frisbee golf course that was next to the apartments. There we sat, talking and chatting. She just listened sometimes, and I think that helped. - My Grandpa's viewing was that night, and I wasn't able to go.
The next morning I drove home for the funeral. And we gathered at Uncle Tracy's house before the service. Kurt Sharp was the man who was working for the funeral home. He was a family friend. I'm not sure what made me cry more: Kurt seeing our family and tearing up when he was trying to tell us procedure on how things were going to go, or when Grandma had him cry on her shoulder. We went over to Ladusau-Evans funeral home for the service. I could literally feel all the emotion in the room. Then I saw Grandpa and I cried. I don't think I've cried harder in my life. It was humiliating, with all the family friends gathered near. But I didn't care. This wasn't supposed to be this way.
As I reflect and a few of those emotions come back I think that that was not how God intended the way for it to be. he did not intend for the life he created to be destroyed. He did not want the relationships that he had established severed. But it was, all on account of sin. Now, I don't recall everything in the sermon, but I know that the Gospel was preached. Grandpa would not be that way forever. He would be resurrected as would we all, because of the death and resurrection of Christ. We would be reunited with him on the last day. It was true, but just hard to hear.
Wonderfully hard to hear.
Melvin "Dwayne" Morris
August 13, 1927 - September 18, 2005
Baptized and Redeemed