Three weeks ago I made a quick trip home to my parents, for my grandfather’s funeral.
He passed peacefully on the night of October 8th, at 88 years of age. I got the news Tuesday that he wasn’t doing well, and was not expected to live much longer. I called Shawn, and he got me a ticket out of Alaska for that very night. I quickly went grocery shopping so everyone at home would have sometime to sustain them until I got back. Then, I quick packed my bags, and Camdon and I were on a plane just hours after I got the news. Sadly, he passed away while I was on my fight to Seattle. I was sorry I didn’t make it home before he passed. I had wanted to say good-bye, but I was glad I was able to be there for the funeral, and I know it meant a lot to my dad to have all of his children there with him.
The funeral was sad but beautiful. It was neat to hear stories and things about him that I hadn’t known. My grandpa was a good man. He was a faithful member of the LDS church all his life. He was a good husband, father, and grandfather. He also, loved and served his country. We will miss him, but we are glad for him too. He is with his sweetheart again. My grandma passed away 8 years ago, and my dad said that my grandpa always missed her. They are together with their son who died in a drowning accident 38 years ago, when he was just 18. He has also been reunited with his parents, sisters, and other loved ones that went before him.
As I arrived back in Alaska, I phoned Shawn, as soon my plane touch down to tell him I had landed, but his phone just went to voice mail. He called me back a minute later with terrible news. A very good friend of ours and mentor to Shawn, was killed that night in a small plane crash. His son and another man who were with him in the plane, were in the hospital. Shawn was in shock, he had just seen and spoken with him earlier in the day.
My legs shook and I trembled as I walked off the plane and down to the baggage return area. My stake President and his wife were on the same flight from Seattle with me, and I croaked out the news to them as soon as I saw them, but they had already heard . He must have gotten the report at the same time I had.
After Shawn picked me up we went to the hospital to see Jon’s wife and son. Shawn ran in without me, because it was after hours and we didn’t know if they would let me and the baby in. Shawn came out with tears in his eyes. He said that Jon’s wife was strong and doing well. She felt peace in knowing it was his time to go.
Jon left behind a wife and 3 sons. He was a good friend and a leader in his community. He was a great example of friendship and service to all who met and knew him. He died at the age of 51.
That night we knelt in prayer together and with tears in our eyes, thanked God for families, and good friends. We thanked him for the plan of salvation, and that through the atonement of Christ we can be with our loved ones again. We are thankful that families are eternal and that we can find peace in the gospel.
As my dad said at my Grandma’s funeral, our tears are not for our loved one that has passed away, because we know that they are happy and in a better place. Our tears are for ourselves because we will miss them. Grandpa and Jon, you will both be missed, but we know we will see you again. And, that day will be glorious.