My dear, sweet grandpa passed away on Sunday. I had the opportunity to be by his bedside when he took his last breath.
Grandpa has had physical struggles for a while, but starting going down hill the past couple of weeks. Last Sunday I spend sometime with him, but he was so weak he could not respond other than minimal mumbles and a few quiet words with great effort. As I said goodbye to him while he laying in his bed, I leaned down and kissed his head saying, "I love you, grandpa." His mouth began to move and he breathed out, "I love you, too." I'll never forget those last words he spoke to me.
I went to visit him again this past Sunday. He was much worse. He couldn't even groan out any sort of response. He blood pressure had dropped and his breathing had sped up. The hospice nurse told us it would most likely be that day. I stayed the day there with my grandpa along with aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Grandpa's condition rapidly decreased, and I soon found myself in a hushed room with brothers and sisters holding hands, sons and fathers grasping arms, and Grandpa Bay's favorite hymns quietly playing. Everyone was sad we were about to lose such an amazing and loving man, someone who had been such a part of out lives, but there was a peace that filled the room. Grandpa was about to go home. He was about to be reunited with his wife and his son as well as countless other family members. While those of us sitting in that room had tears streaming down our faces, those on the other side had smiles and open arms. And in just a few short minutes, Grandpa would be no longer be tied to his broken body, but would be running to them with that big old Grandpa Bay grin on his face. It's amazing to know that because of the temple Grandpa can be sealed to his wife and children for eternity. [more about Mormon temples here.]
Among whispers of "I love you," "we'll miss you," and "It's okay, Dad, you don't need to take care of us anymore, you can go," Grandpa took his last breath. He didn't leave without a fight, though, and one last joke. We had all thought he took his last breath, when to our amazement thirty seconds later he took another one! Way to lighten the mood, Grandpa! But soon enough, his spirit peacefully left his mortal body and went to join his family waiting on the other side. It was quite an experience to not only have tears of sorrow, but also tears of peace and joy.
There is a song by one of my favorite bands [death cad for cutie] that says, "Love is watching someone die." I felt that so true on Sunday. Every single person in that room around Grandpa had such a deep love for him. It's amazing too how many more people wished they could be there. Grandpa truly was a loved man.
See you later, Grandpa!
grandpa, his wife marva, and two of the five sons
he's so dapper
doctor bay about to make another delivery
grandpa&wife marva (she passed before my parents met)
i love everything about this photo.
grandpa&i, family reunion 2007
grandpa&i at grandma jean's funeral (second wife), 2012