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If you have been following Devoted Grandma for any amount of time, you know that I like to keep things fun and lighthearted, so today’s topic may take many of you by surprise. (It is honestly taking me by surprise, too!) While I hate thinking about my mortality and leaving my family, I know it is a part of life and that it is always good to be prepared for when it comes.
Recently, a family reached out to me on the condition of anonymity with the letter their sweet grandma wrote shortly before she passed. She wrote letters for her children and grandchildren, which were found inside her nightstand when her family began to sort through and organize her belongings. They said this letter brought them so much solace and hoped it could help others dealing with loss.
Grab your tissues – you may need them. (I sure did.)
The note shared with me, in hopes of inspiring others, is below.
To my beautiful, God-sent grandchildren, This is a time full of uncertainty. Uncertainty for me as I get ready to meet my Lord and Savior. And uncertainty for our family, as you are not only saying goodbye to me, But goodbye to a sure and steadfast part of your lives that you have always known. Your grandma is going away. I am going away. I remember when I lost my grandma, the woman who I sat next to every Sunday at church; The woman who would rub my back through the entire service and then invite our huge brood over for a weekly dinner. The strong woman who, though we dare not talk back to her, had the biggest heart (and the best cookies). She was my soft landing, and her death was a hard blow. Grandma was one of the first people I ever lost, and while I worried my broken heart would never heal, it would eventually be filled with strength, peace, and even more love. To my grandchildren: I pray that you find this same strength, peace, and love. May you always turn to each other in the good times and bad, And know that I am always with you - even if you can't see me. You have filled my life with so much joy, More than I can ever put into words. I always wanted to be a grandma, and to get you, my grandchildren was a dream come true. Have I ever told you that you are often the only good I see in the world? I will never know what I did to deserve you, but I thank God daily for allowing me to love you. As I sit here writing this, I wonder if there was ever a time you didn't feel loved enough. I hope and pray this isn't the case. Like my own children, Your moms and dads, I pray I wasn't too hard and never appeared disappointed or unloved. I could never be disappointed in you and never felt anything but a deep and burning love for all of you. It is my time to go, but please don't cry for me. I have had time to think these past months and have nothing but good to say about my time on earth. I have lived a beautiful life. I have been more blessed than I deserve. I have known the love of a good man (your grandpa, who is waiting for me), beautiful children, and you, the most wonderful grandchildren. I have always known the safety and security of a home, and I have never been without a meal. It is time for me to go, but it is time for you to LIVE, which is why I would like to leave you, my beloved grandchildren, with this parting advice: Travel whenever and wherever you can (I have never known of anyone who regretted traveling too much but know far too many who regret not seeing more of the world). Never skip your mealtime or bedtime prayers. Wash your hands if you so much as walk into the bathroom (like I used to tell my boys, I don't even care if you didn't use it - just wash!). Don't be afraid to tell your friends and family you love them. Never go to bed angry (and for heaven's sake, don't watch Dateline before bed - you won't sleep well!). Life goes faster than you think - don't waste a minute! I love you. I will be waiting for you. But before we are reunited, promise me you will live a long and beautiful life. I will see you later, alligators! -Grandma
Hug your loved ones a little tighter, grandmas – especially those grandbabies! Let’s talk again soon.
Your friend, Devoted Grandma