Death. What are the first thoughts that enter your mind as you read that word? I think it’s a word and fact of life that so many of us fear. Something we may not always know how to deal with. Over the last couple of weeks this word became a reality to me as I lost someone who has been a huge inspiration to me. My Grandfather lived life to his fullest, taking risks for the sake of bringing greater good, & continually building up those around him. He was strong in character, a man who believed life for the purpose of serving others above oneself was good, but dying for what you believe in is even better. Within all the battles he faced, I am sure at times he was torn between the two desires… with a desire to live, yet a longing to “really be home” with his Savior.
As I read the message on my phone at work that morning, the day we lost him, I had to make the decision whether I wanted to be there while he passed on. I was torn while I had a desire to be there at the hospital for our last moments with him, at the same time knowing it would be incredibly difficult to take in the loss of someone so dear to me. I jumped in my car, filled up gas, and made the drive with music blasted and many tears. I had never really seen death before my eyes like that before. Then again, is it really death? I trust he has a new life which is absolutely beautiful. Even while knowing any breath could be his last while standing by his bedside, he continued to respond to us with what he could through hand squeezes and grunts after a good song or prayer. This would have been a solid “Amen!” if he had the strength.
My Grandfather encouraged me more in my music, art, and writing more than he probably ever realized. Growing up, he always took time during visits to check out my latest art project, writing, or music piece. He always took reading my writing as teaching moments and time to simply build into my life. He came to countless performances for choir, band, and recitals. His requests to sing and play my instruments for him always meant the world to me. My Grandfather always encouraged me to keep pursuing music while I was discouraged with it because I knew he sincerely cared.
It’s hard to describe the way that music speaks what’s on my heart. Sometimes when I have no words, music says it all. It’s amazing how it’s done that for me over the last while. So here it is! Take a listen :)
NOT FOR LONG
YOU WERE THE KIND OF MAN/ WHO NEVER GAVE IN/ YOU WERE THE TEACHER WHO COULD ONLY LOVE THEM/ YOU WERE THE PREACHER AND THE ONE WHO SAID AMEN/ AND NOW YOU’RE GONE/ BUT NOT FOR LONG/ FOR YOU’VE REACHED HEAVEN/ THE ANGELS SING A NEW SONG/ THAT LANGUAGE WAS BORN WITHIN YOUR SOUL/ AND IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG/ BEFORE THEIR WAYS BECAME YOUR OWN/ YOU LET GO OF YOUR SON/ LEAVING HIM IN THEIR HOMELAND/ THERE WILL BE NO MORE SORROW/ AND NO MORE PAIN/ FOR YOU’RE A NEW MAN
Lyrics © Jessica Rachelle 2014