Inspired by Grandma Even After Death

Grandma hadn’t been stolen from me. I finally understood that those we love will always be with us—even after death.

By Melissa Young


When I was a child, my favorite day of the week was laundry day. I used to help Grandma carry the overflowing clothesbaskets down the wooden stairs to our basement.

While she sorted the clothes and put loads in the washer, I played house in a huge cardboard box. When the first load of wash was done, Grandma always sat me on top of the dryer. There I waited impatiently for the cold white machine to become nice and warm.

When the last load of clothes tumbled in the dryer, Grandma scooped me onto her lap, and we rocked back and forth in the old green rocking chair. Grandma told me that the chair, which groaned and creaked under our weight, was singing. To my young ears the chair seemed to send out perfect harmonies that meshed with Grandma’s songs about little brown jugs and mares that ate oats.

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I never quite learned all the words to the songs, because I usually dozed off in her arms. When the buzzing of the dryer eventually woke me, the songs were over and Grandma was gently nudging me off her lap so she could go on to her next project.

All too soon our wonderful days in the basement were brought to a close. I went off to kindergarten, and Mom, who had been divorced soon after I was born, remarried. My new father, Mom, my two older sisters, and I moved into a house across town. Even so, I still got to spend most weekends at Grandma and Papa’s house.

As I grew older, I began noticing something wrong with Grandma. She developed a tumor that doctors removed, then another that kept her in the hospital for much longer than the first one. When I visited her, she didn’t seem to understand what I was saying.

Early one January morning Grandma died. Everyone told me she was better off, that she was no longer in pain and she was with God. Eventually I adjusted to her being gone, but I could never reconcile myself to the fact that God had stolen her away from me. I felt deprived—He had Grandma and I did not. Every time I came across a letter she’d written or saw a picture of her, I burst into resentful tears.

One crisp winter morning five years later, all that changed. When my alarm clock first went off, I drowsily hit the snooze button, closed my eyes, and pulled the blankets tight around my chin. As the warmth of the covers relaxed me, I drifted off ... and was back in the basement on laundry day with warm arms around me.

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Familiar piles of clothes, separated by colors, covered the bare gray floor. I could hear the whir of the dryer. I looked up, and there was Grandma’s kind, smiling face. A slow rocking motion started as Grandma pulled me closer. I was a child again, nestling in that familiar lap, gently rocking back and forth on the chair that sang. I listened happily as Grandma accompanied it, tenderly crooning all my favorite melodies in the voice I had missed so dearly.

I pressed my head against her shoulder and closed my eyes, comforted by the presence I knew so well. Then a soft buzzing sounded from far away. When I opened my eyes, I was back in my bed, groping to turn off the alarm.

Suddenly, peacefully, I realized God had just reminded me that Grandma hadn’t been stolen from me. In those magical minutes I had finally been made to understand that those we love will always be with us—even after death.

I looked out my window at the amber sunrise. Once again there was singing. But now it was in my own heart.

A Unique Song

You have a unique message to deliver, a unique song to sing,
 a unique act of love to bestow. This message, this song, and this act of love have been entrusted exclusively 
to the one and only you. —John Powell, S. J.


Excerpted from Stories to Warm a Grandma's Heart: True Stories of Hope and Inspiration. Copyright © 2011 by Guideposts. All rights reserved.

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Your Comments (18)

I have cried off and on all day . I lost my husband on Mother's Day last year to cancer and my mother passed away in September. I am a twin and her husband is taking his final hours on this side as his strength is gone after a long battle with cancer . I grieve already for the loss of my dear brother-in-law but also for my precious sister- and their children. Oh that they could escape this grief. Tomorrow is Easter. If it weren't for Christ's death and resurrection I would surely dispair. I will sing of the mercy of the Lord forever!
Chaplain thank you for your prayer and for such humility! God bless each of you. Someday we shall fellowship forever in Heaven.

I miss my maternal Grandmother so very much. She was the only one in my life who every showed me love and compassion. She was always a part of my life and I don't think I realized there would be a day when she would no longer be there. If only I could have back the days of my selfish youth when I would quickly brush her off the phone.
I have longed to have a dream of her, to hear her voice and see her face again, but, it has never happened.She has been gone 23 yrs, it doesn't get easier, it gets harder, I still cry for her often.She was my hero. She lost her Mom at early age, Father placed her in orphanage. She was widowed in her early 40's, her only 2 children went to war and made it back safely. She was so strong, she mowed her own yard into her late 70's. Walked to the store, never learned to drive.So caring, so sharing.

I loved the Grandmother story and loving laundry day with her. It also reminded me of that same song that my mom always sang to my sisters and I. The memories it brought back to me are wonderful ones!!

Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy; a kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?

It was one of my favorites! You can maybe sing it to a beautiful little grandchild of your own~

Your poem was beautiful, Minister Kidd! Thank you for sharing.

Wonderful memories. I often think of my grandfather.
I remember standing out in their front yard at night and he taught me "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, how I wonder what you are up above the world so high like a diamond in the sky"
He also taught me how to tie my shoes. Lots of memories of he and Grandma together. Both worked in their garden together
I am 90 years old now and have grand children & great grandchildren that I try to do things with.

My grandmother died back in 1994. I use to sew with her when I was 12 & up. I didn't sew for a long time after 1994 because I just didn't have the desire. Then someone bought me a new sewing machine. I started to get into quilting. One day when I was sewing, I thought of my grandmother and started to miss her so much, I started crying. Tears run down my face because I was wishing she was with me-guiding me.
My father died in 2009--on Easter Day. People say to me that it must've been difficult to lose him on a holiday. I look at it as Our Lord resurrected on that day and HE took my dad on that special day too. We buried him on my birthday!

This story reminded me so much of my grandparents and how much pain I experienced and how I too learned those memories will always be with me. For you see, my parents both died 14 months apart. I was orphaned by age two. My grandparents raised me and my other grandmother would have me every weekend over at her house. Being raised by grandparents makes you appreciate older people earlier in life. My father's parents died when I was in my 20's. I was so heartbroken. But God knew I needed my mother's mother around for alot longer. She passed away in 2002 at the tender age of 99 and she got to see one of my children graduate high school. I was very blessed to have her in my life into my 40's. Thank you for such a wonderful story. Many families need to involve the older members of their families with their small children for them to learn the "old ways" and the joy of just sitting in a rocker being sung too by "grandma".
Today, I know how to can vegetables, make jelly, sew and cook very good pies and meals all because of my grandmothers and how they spent time with me. Good quality time. It wasn't in front of the tv or the computer or running around the malls. It was at home, listening and learning. My grandpa took me fishing and taught me things that I would use later in life. How to properly care for your yard, fix a lawnmower, garden and so many others. Cherish your grandparents but know when they are gone, all those memories will still carry you through life.

Loved reading this about Grandma still there after death ~~how true this is fore my grandmother has been with me .i belive evn more alive in my soul n spirit since childhood n now in my vintage yrs today ;like shes lived within me to guide me still, in all ive done in my life n also in hobbies of sewing ,she was anatural n ,at times i felt she was still sewing using me as her tool ,fore i didnt really sew that well ;but when i finished a sewing project ,i was surprised how well n perfected my sewing skills came out !ut deep in my soul she is there to help me n be with me when i ask for her gudience n besides my prayers to our Lord ,fore he is the number one in my life n for allowing my grandmother to forevr stay in my Spirit .also enjoyed the poem written by Minister Bob Kidd;has alot of truth to it ;keep writing ,it does help the soul n spirit to keep going with lots of Faith n Love ~~~fore i too write poetry to soothe my soul n give hope to others thru it .(published poet from Poetry .com since 2004 n can be seem on Face book too under Celia Wooldridge

My granddaughter are very close and I know when I'm gone, she will miss me. I would wish there would be a way I could let her know how much I love and miss her and let her know that (if it's possible), I will be close to her forever.

I have been taught that according to scripture, "the dead know not anything". When we die our spirit goes back to God and when Jesus comes again, He will give us new bodies and our spirit will return. When I was taking care of my sister before she died, she told me one day that "Momma had come to her." What did she say", I asked? My sister replied "she said that I was lucky to have you taking care of me and that when I was ready, she would be waiting for me." I will never forget what my sister told me. I know that my Momma and my Sister live in my heart and always will. I am sure that God allowed my sister to experience that to comfort her and me. Only God knows for sure and I will trust Him.

I don't think our dead love ones are with us but the presence of the Holy Spirit assure us that all is well and we will see them again and we need not worry when they are christians. thank you.

So true. My husband died last May of Alzheimers Disease. I miss him, of course, but I would not wish him back here in the suffering he endured for anything!
One day, I will be with him again--in the presence of the Lord, and we both will be whole again, really, better than before, and serve the Lord in truth and joy!

I to, can relate to grandma's being with us even after death. I was 13 at the time and my great-grandma was my life. I loved to be with her in her garden, watch her as she gently coaxed all of her beautiful vegetables and flowers to their fullest blooms. I watched her can these vegetables and put all of her love into each thing she did including me! I was just beginning to be a teen-ager when she had a stroke. I sat with her as she passed on her journey from this life to the next. For the next ten years I had the same recuring dream: of seeing my grandma in her little flowered apron in her sweet little kitchen cooking all of our favorite foods. I could see her beautiful silver hair surrounding her like a halo. I would ask her why are you here? You are dead! Always, the same answer: I am not dead I am ALIVE! Finally, I realized she was and will always be alive. When that realization happened I no longer had the dream. God had been trying to tell me all those years about my Grandma.That she was alive and well!

I am so up lifted every day by your message. Thank you and may God Bless each and every one of you. A sister in Christ. Shelia Loeffelbein

Thank you for your prayers for me. The grandma story touched my heart because this week I am missing my husband who died two years ago and my son that died 13 years ago. I will always miss them, yet I know both of them are with our Lord. So the grandma story warmed my heart

Are you Anne Mercer from Ft. Lauderdale, FL? If so, we are neighbors and friends. I am so sorry for your losses. Glad the Guideposts story comforted you, though. They always comfort me, too. We all have someone who has passed and they do come into our heads and hearts and visit us at the times we need them the most.

I sobbed, I cried, tears ran down my face, my heart screamed with Joy and pain.
You see the help mate God gave me in 1969, the woman who put her life and the life of her three children into my care, passed to be with the Lord 3 years ago. . No man deserves that trust and love. We were together for fourty years; she took me from being nothing to a man and a man of God. Yes I am in the Lords work, I am an associate Chaplain at our city hospital, and I have been assigned by my local Presbyterian church as a missionary to one of the local nursing homes. I encourage and comfort those in pain or sick. Or in agony over loved ones who are sick or passed the journey to our final home in heaven. Some days I feel such a hypocrite for my inner feelings, I struggle to encourage and comfort, and God never lets me down. But my heart still aches. Please believe me, God is more than my portion, more than enough.
I wrote this little poem a few weeks ago. Please enjoy.

A Chaplains Prayer
Why me Lord, I am not worthy to speak Your Name.
But you asked me to speak your words of Faith.
Why me Lord –you know I have fears and doubt,
But you ask me to your speak words of Trust and Comfort.
Why me Lord- you know I have pain and sickness in my body.
But You ask me to speak words of healing and Joy.
Why me Lord- You know my heart and it’s love for You.
And you ask me to Share that love with your sick children.
Why me Lord-I don’t know what to say or do.
Set free my tongue to speak Your Words of Truth.
Why me Lord- you know I am unsure of myself,
So guide my steps and let me walk in confidence for you.
Send your love and power through your words I speak, to set free your sick and fearful child.
Don’t let them see me Lord, but feel Your Son, and His love and Compassion He brought from the cross.
As I leave them Lord, Let Your Love not I remain.

Minister Bob Kidd
East Liverpool, Ohio