4 Things I Learned Watching My Grandpa Pass Away

Zechariah Newman —  April 6, 2015 — 6 Comments

My grandpa went to Heaven and the funeral was this last weekend. Watching him in his latter days reminded me of the preciousness of life. Our lives are finite here on Earth and there is no greater reminder than watching someone you love deteriorate until all strength is gone. What a great grandpa I was privileged to have.  He taught me so much in his life and the lessons continued watching him pass. I learned these 4 life lessons in his death.


My Grandpa

What love looks like. My grandparents exhibited a sweet love for each other. My grandma cared for my grandpa all the way until the end. I watched her struggle as she watched the love of her life laboring for a breath. I watched as she sponged his mouth so he could get some water. I watched the way she still looked at him and the way her eyes still light up talking about their life together.

Love is shown on the hard days. It is built over time. Love is shown when it can’t be fully returned. I hope to love those in my life with the fullness and vigor that I saw my grandma loving my grandpa. This week let’s love a little deeper and be a little less dependent on the actions of others.

Memories is all we have. I don’t remember one gift my grandparents ever got me. They did buy me gifts, I just can’t recall them. I do, however, remember all of the memories. My grandparents made holidays so much fun. It was an event every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and even the Fourth of July. I remember playing games with my grandpa while he wore his usual red socks.

Too often we focus on giving gifts when we should be focused on making memories. Take time today to carve out some memories with those you love. With a little thoughtful effort, you can make memories that your loved ones will hold with them forever.

You won’t see your full impact. My grandpa will never see the full impact he has had and will have. He spent his whole life serving others.  His legacy lives on in my kids and will travel to their children. I also know he left a positive impact on the lives of several others.

Don’t focus on what you see with your eyes. Focus on how you can positively affect the world and the ripples of your life will continue through time.

Don’t wait to speak words of love. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t tell my Grandpa enough how much he meant to me. In his latter days when he wasn’t able to respond, I told him how proud I was to be his grandson. I told him what a good job he had done. I know he could hear me even if he couldn’t respond, but why did I wait until now?

Today and every day let’s speak words of love. Encourage someone in your life today. Every person no matter how young or old needs to hear how great they are doing. They need to hear what they mean to you. Speak life into others.

Serve others, love deeply, live fully today and every day. This journey of life will take you places you never thought possible when you live a life of service. Be blessed on your life’s journey.

How can you love those in your life more deeply?

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  • Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry for your loss. It is amazing when we have an opportunity to see some one leave this world with dignity

  • Really liked this post. My grandfather died in 1991 and I still miss him a lot. So sorry for your loss, and I appreciate you opening up and sharing about this.

  • We can learn so much from those who are older (and wiser). I’ve learned spending quality and uninterrupted time with my family to be one of the main ways I show my care and love to them.