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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Joy in Sorrow

Three years ago I was able to experience one of the hardest and greatest moments of my life.  So many torn emotions running through me. 

February 2008 I was up in the frozen tundra of the north (aka, Rexburg Idaho).  For those that don't know much about BYU-Idaho, just know that it's extremely windy and cold (okay, it's frigid).  One Friday, after a swim meet, I went to check my cell phone and found that I had missed a barrage of phone calls.  They were all from home.
As I started to listen to the messages my heart sank.  Each message told me "not to worry", but that my "Grandma wasn't doing so well" and that "she may not live much longer."  "So, it may be a good idea to come home for the weekend to say goodbye."  AHHH!!!
There I was.  In Rexburg Idaho.  No car.  Didn't know anyone with a car that was going home.  Luckily for me, I was able to hurry and buy a pass for the last shuttle bus going down to the Salt Lake City Airport.  The bus left 10 minutes after I bought the pass.

Now, I want to paint a picture for you.  Sister Nestman.  On a bus with a bunch of strangers. Wet. Holding back tears. Looking very confused and torn up with emotions.  Let's just say, it wasn't a pretty picture.
I was picked up from the airport and then it was off to my grandparents house.  As we were driving, my family just kept telling me to "be prepared."  That my grandma "didn't look like herself at all."  Boy were they ever right!

When we got there, and I finally saw her, it felt like a lumberjack had taken a giant swing at my heart.  She was literally skin and bones.  There was nothing left of her.

She held on till Sunday.  On Sunday all of the family (the ones that could make it) came to the house to wish her farewell.  She was given a blessing and, soon after, she passed away.  I remember watching her take her last breath and everything.  I was sad, but at the same moment, happy for her.  The room was filled with the greatest sensation of peace that I have ever felt.  I just knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that my grandma was happy and at peace. 
In the Book of Mormon, in Alma 40, we are taught where our spirits go after this life. 

"1And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow."
This scripture has brought me so much joy and understanding.  I am so grateful to know where my loved ones go after they die.  They are taken home to that Father that has created them.
 As hard as losing someone you love is, that sorrow can, and should, be swallowed up in the joy of knowing that they are in paradise.  I know that my grandma is not in pain anymore.  She isn't feeling the aches and pains that she was ailed with in this life.  I know this is true.  I have felt the peace and confirmation that it is true through the spirit.  You can too.  Pray and ask.  God will answer you.

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