My great grandmother of 95 years old, passed away this afternoon. We all new it was coming, and I for one had spent a lot of time preparing for this day. When my Granny Ree was about 90 she said, "The Lord told me I was going to live until I'm 95 years old. So that's what I'm going to do." She had her 95th birthday a week and half ago, and we celebrated her birthday along with all the February birthdays in my family last night. In my lifetime I have experienced quite a few people die, but all of them were relatively quick deaths. They were loved ones that developed illnesses and within a few month were gone, fatal car accidents, or even some that overdosed on drugs. I've never seen anyone have a prolonged death. System after system shutting down; function after function finally completely cease.
Friday my mom called me and told me that I needed to visit Ree because she could go any time so I went over there after I got off work. I walked into the room and in that instant I wanted to walk right back out. She really looked deceased. Head turned to the side, mouth wide open, eyes half open, and not making a sound. I nearly instantly broke into tears because I had no idea what was happening. She inhaled and exhaled and for what seemed like an eternity she finally inhaled again. It was almost frightening to watch because I really did think that she was going to pass in to glory with me sitting there talking to her. My cousin Taylor read her some of the Bible and then I sung (very poorly might I add) Amazing Grace (one of her favorite songs). I left and cried all the way home because I was so struck by what was happening. It was like she was suspended between heaven and earth, between life and real life...it was like she was at the door of a great adventure and not yet allowed to enter, and it was painful to watch.
Today as I was in a youth leader's meeting my mom texted me to let me know that she had passed. Of course I hurried over and my mom met me and asked me if I wanted to see her, and I said no because she wasn't there; her body was there, but my great grandmother wasn't there. She had shuffled off her mortal coil as Shakespeare put it. Before she passed on, my grandmother said to her, "Mom, it's time to go. When you see Jesus, I want you to smile really big for me." A few minutes later she breathed her last breath, and as my grandmother turned her head, my great grandmother's mouth broke into the biggest smile. She finally was allowed to enter into eternal life with perfect vision, and perfect hearing! She was exposed to the beauty of all God is and beheld his glory in a way that you and me probably couldn't stand. She ran the race and finished it well. I wish I could see her now. I wish I could see her completely 100% whole. She inherited the promise. I just know that she heard the Lord say to her, "Well done good and faithful servant."