When I was about 8 years old, my Great-grandma Olson died. It is odd that random memories of that time recently came to me. She had a stroke and when we went to visit, I think we kids were not allowed to go back to her bedroom. I heard her “laughing” but I figured out later that she was actually crying. I have no idea how much longer she lived after that, but I do remember the funeral. I remember standing at the casket wanting to touch her, but being scared to. Great-grandpa came in at the end, glanced at the casket and took his place on the front row. After the service at the funeral home, the family went to Great-grandpa’s house–a little house in Jefferson, Wisconsin. At one point, I remember going into the kitchen, Great-grandpa sat in a chair all by himself in the corner while the rest of the family laughed and carried on in the other rooms. I remember wanting to comfort him but I dind’t know how to.
A few years later, when I was 12, my Grandpa Virtue had a heart-attack and died within a few hours. There were the days of the viewing, then the funeral. Lots of days hanging out with family, with nothing to do. After the funeral, we drove over an hour to the cemetery and then back to the church for a luncheon. I remember sitting with Grandma, which is kind of odd that I didn’t sit with my cousins or anyone closer to my age. Grandma was sitting with old friends, and I didn’t really fit in, but maybe in the back of my mind I wanted to make sure she wasn’t alone. She seemed so old at the time, yet she was only 10 years older than I was when I became a widow.
Pondering if God made me sensitive, even at a very young age, to people losing their spouse. There are many times I feel alone, yet I am reminded, “When you feel alone, you are not alone, I (God) am right beside you.”