Last Saturday, we received news that Toby's paternal grandfather, Pop, had passed away.
This was not unexpected - he was 96 years old and shutting down. We had even had a conversation with Toby's dad earlier in the day about how Pop was no longer eating or drinking or even really conscious. So, though we were expecting it, there is still a sadness and finality that comes with it.
Unfortunately, the kids didn't really know "Old Pop" (to distinguish from "Pop", which is Toby's dad) very well. Some of the kids had never met him at all, whereas others haven't really seen him in years. In fact, I think Ellie got confused about who we were talking about and started sobbing - it took some time to confirm that everyone she knew was alive and well, and she didn't know the man we were talking about.
The way our family works through grief is to tell stories, so the kids enjoyed hearing some stories about this man who lived through so many interesting times and places. The kids' favorite was the story about when a lion at the zoo cocked its leg and peed all over Pop's trousers. What kid wouldn't love a story about an adult getting peed on?
If you're so inclined, keep the Gayner family in your prayers. While my kids may not remember, there are many others who do, many who will miss him. We continue to take comfort in the Word:
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning Psalm 30:5b
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.