My grandpa died today.
If you’d asked me about death yesterday, we might have discussed a number of things I feel like I “know” because of my theology.
I don’t know that I’m interested in discussing those things now.
It’s not that I know those things any less today, but talking about those things now seems cheap, somehow, or perhaps simply inappropriate in this venue.
Maybe another time.
It’s still sinking in, frankly.
But perhaps I’ll permit myself to share this.
I visited home recently on vacation (I now live in Washington, while most of my family still lives in California). During a trip to my grandparent’s house, I ended up helping my grandma put sheets on their bed. On a bedside table, I noticed a picture of my grandpa. It was only a few years old, most certainly taken in my lifetime. He was in their backyard pool, jumping out of the water, arms raised high, and with a big smile.
It’s been a little while since I’ve seen the man in that photograph. I haven’t lived in California consistently for about 10 years, so I haven’t experienced my grandpa growing older like my California family has. Still, I know these last few years have been especially difficult as his health has declined.
Alma spoke to his son about what happens to us between our death and resurrection. He said that
“the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow” (see Alma 40:11-12).
I’ll miss my grandpa. I’ve missed him since moving to Washington, of course, and I’ll miss him differently now.
But after these last few years, I’m glad he gets to rest.