Two weekends ago was the birthday of my late grandfather, who died a decade ago. I just finished a social work class on end-of-life issues, and that class had me thinking a lot about him, the impact of his death, my own life and legacy, and how that has all changed and morphed over these past ten years.
So I’m going to spend a few posts reflecting on this. Today I wanted to share how the experience of his death shaped my life personally and professionally.
But first, a little about him. Due to a mispronunciation by the first grandchild, we called my grandfather “Peep”; and Peep and Mammaw’s house was where the entire family came for weekly dinners and holidays. He was the quintessential man of his age: the quiet, stoic, Texas man’s man. He was my mother’s father, the patriarch of the family, and exerted a great centrifugal force in the system. His death left a large hole which I don’t know we’ve recovered from, honestly.
[photo by David Schrott]
Well, this week’s Patrol article was interesting for me to write. This past week, Michael Spencer, also known as “The Internet Monk“, died from cancer. I had no idea how much it would affect me. Really, for the past few months, I hadn’t even been keeping up with his site. In fact, a good friend was the one that told me Spencer had died — I didn’t even read it on the site.
But it really has messed with me. When you read my article, know that just writing it and getting it out there was part of my healing process. I really am okay, especially now that I’ve put my struggles and frustrations into words. As Spencer says in the email exchange I wrote about:
Some people live the Christian life in the mode of happy clappy. Others live it in lamentation. Disturbance. Some of those write it out to process it. That’s me.
That’s me as well. And this article was how I processed his death. Here’s the link:
“Gone Too Soon: An Email Exchange with Michael Spencer” — Patrol Magazine