When I was younger, I didn’t know how I would respond to the death of a loved one. As I’m preparing for my grandfather, Papa, to die I am surprised at how much beauty I see. And no, I’m not some whacked goth girl wearing too much mascara. I believe I am saying this in my right mind.

My grandfather just recently celebrated his 94th birthday. Throughout the past five years there have been several medical events that questioned his life. I remember driving to the hospital in spring of this year, not sure if I would see him alert for the last time. But he pulled through, and awoke just a few minutes before I arrived.

Recently in the past five days his health has severely declined. He ate a large meal on Sunday and hasn’t had solid food since. When I visited him today, he was motionless in bed. The warm sun on his face. He remained there with his eyes closed. He seemed peaceful. Slowly starting to embrace a deeper rest.

I didn’t know that dying looked like this. I thought people just suddenly flatlined in a painful panic. I am very thankful for this period, as I mentally prepare for his death. I hope I expire this same way, if not for myself but my family members.

These past couple of months have been hard on Papa. Each word spoken took a difficult inhale from his entire chest. Only a cruel god would allow someone to live in this forever. In love, God made our lives finite.

Papa loved the Lord dearly. I know he is being taken to a better place.