Knowing Life
By Suzanne St. John
December 20, 2007

I watched my grandmother die.
I try to tell myself she is gone,
But I now know the wrong in that lie.

Years ago, I watched her body fade;
Her death left me confused as I struggled
To answer the questions my angry heart displayed

In her nineties, she had seen many days.
She altered my life and restored my innocence;
I owe my life to her in so many ways

She left too soon; I needed her still.
For years, I felt the loss and confusion
And fought what I knew to be God’s will

When I went to see her, she remembered me.
Dementia, age, and distance couldn’t destroy
A love she never dared set free.

She talked to Jesus as if he was there by her bed
And as I listened to her, He was all I could see.
Her body dying in pain but “I’m coming Jesus” is what she said.

I couldn’t understand it. I struggled to believe,
But as I sat there God was breaking my heart
Because I knew it was her time to leave.

I remembered years before at her sister’s funeral showing
As I walked away from the casket, there was my grandma
When her eyes met mine, the tears started racing.

I gave her a hug and whispered “Jesus loves all little girls and he loves you”.
The words she always said to me when I was broken just came out.
She hugged me tight and she said, “He loves you too”

At my grandmother’s funeral, there was no one to remind me
“Jesus loves all little girls and he loves you”.
For years, I felt dazed and confused and then grew angry.

My heart stuck beside a dying woman’s bed
Listening to her speak to a God who was taking her away.
Suddenly, it was me who was dead

I truly believe she walked into Heaven with Jesus by her side
And I wonder how she could forget almost everything
And yet know peace in pain, hope in Jesus, as her body slowly died.

She isn’t here for me to ask my questions this time
So years later, I struggle to give her honor and praise
For showing me the truth and where to draw that line.

Tonight, I recall her calling out to my grandfather, her parents, and her family
They were all there as she asked them to wait and told them she could see
She was talking to people long gone whose life was now just a forgotten memory.

What if I was dead and they were all really alive and living?
What if I was separated from the reality?
What if her death, was a gift to me that God was giving?

The most important gift and knowledge any person could claim
She was able to feel so much pain that even medicine couldn’t sustain
And yet know Jesus in such a way as to always remain.