Beauty, Death, Dying, Family, God, Health, Ideals, Life Lessons, Loss, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Uncategorized, Women

The Price You Pay For Growing Up

When I look back upon my life up until this point, there has been one constant that has always kept me grounded: my grandfather.

On February 17, 2013, my grandfather, Anthony Salvadore Grecco, Jr. went to be with God in his eternal home. Now, I find myself trying to find a compass to point me in the correct direction because the compass that I had is no longer in tangible and earthly form. And while I find myself currently lost, I have faith that I will find my way again through his guidance. His favorite saying whenever I became lost in what I was supposed to do was simple, “That’s the price you pay for growing up.” He had meant it to refer to life’s hardships, but now I realize a good portion of the saying is simply referring to death as the price you pay for growing up.

A common question people ask when someone dies is, “Is there life after death?” I can tell you that there is.

Everyone that knows me or that has read my blog knows that I had a best friend that was killed when I was 17. What a lot of people don’t know is that my best friend has visited me in my sleep many times to give me advice when I needed it the most.

Now, I know most of you probably think that I was merely dreaming, but I can assure you it was more than that. It was an out-of-body experience because I felt like I had floated from my body to heaven. Also, she had changed; she wasn’t exactly the same girl that I had class with and drove in the car with. She was somehow wiser and more beautiful than I had remembered, something only heaven can do. We laughed and talked about life. The most distinct thing I remember though is me asking her this question: “Kimmy, why did you leave me?” And she responded simply with, “I didn’t want to, but I had to.”  She then waved good-bye to me and I woke up.

Now, what does this have to do with my grandpa’s death? Well, I rest at ease knowing that he is with her as well as his parents. He’s also with a bunch of other cool cats I know that were gone from this world far too soon. But I know that there is life after this, and that life is eternally happy. Kimmy doesn’t visit me too often, but she always visits me when I least expect it. And it always ends up being when I need it the most. I know my grandpa will do the same. I find solace knowing that while his earthly shell will not be present for my wedding someday or when I have children, that his soul will be present for all of those events. I know he will be there when my sister receives her high school diploma and he will be ecstatic.

My grandpa left his earthly home and nothing more. He is still my grandpa because a person’s soul is who they really are. His soul was that of: husband of 57.5 years, father for 51.8 years, and grandfather for 23.5 years. His soul was a proud member of the United States Army where he served honorably in Korea as well as stateside. His soul was a member of the Knights of Columbus where his highest honor was State Secretary. His soul chose the Catholic faith.

I say his soul because it is important to distinguish the two, soul and body. God gives us a soul to be put into our human homes. When people die, their souls don’t die, their earthly home simply became unable to host them anymore. Whether they leave to be with God eternally or be recycled into another human home is something I am unsure of. But I do know that my grandpa’s soul is just as alive as it has ever been.

Death can be summed up in many ways, and a lot of other people do it better than I can:
“End? No. The journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path; one we must all take.” -Gandalf, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”-Dumbledore, Harry Potter

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Corinthians 15, as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“Do not pity the dead Harry. Pity the living, and above all those who live without love.” Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

and, my personal favorite:

“The one’s that love us never really leave us. You can always find them, (points to Harry’s heart) in here.” Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I hope to make my grandpa proud and I hope to live the life of faith that he lived. I hope that those who mourn realize that they are not alone; our loved one’s souls are always with us. My grandpa looked at death and would say, “That’s the price you pay for growing up.”

And he paid the price, and he did it his way. And for that, I will be eternally happy.

I will put the lyrics to my favorite song of death on here. I wish I could say that I would be able to sing this song at his funeral, but part of me feels I wouldn’t be able to perform it the whole way through without crying.

I give you, “Into the West” which is performed by Annie Lennox and is at the ending credits of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Lay down your sweet and weary head.
Night is falling; you’ve come to journey’s end
Sleep now, and dream of the ones who came before.
They are calling from across the distant shore.

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see all of your fears will pass away.
Safe in my arms; you’re only sleeping.

What can you see on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea a pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home.

And all will turn to silver glass.
A light on the water; all souls pass

Hope fades into the world of night.
Through shadows falling out of memory and time
Don’t say “We have come now to the end”
White shores are calling; you and I will meet again

And you’ll be here in my arms just sleeping

What can you see on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea a pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home.

And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water:
Grey ships pass into the West

Rest In Peace
January 15, 1934- February 17, 2013

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