Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24, 2013 - Saying Goodbye

We traveled to Denmark two weeks ago to visit with our family there, and specifically to spend time with Kristoffer's grandmother who was dying.  At 89 years old, she had battled cancer for many years - winning and winning time and again, until her body couldn't win anymore.  When we were in Denmark Kristoffer saw her 5 times, I saw her 4 times, the children saw her 3 times.  We had one particularly great visit with her where she was sitting up with us talking for an entire hour.  When she smiled and laughed, which she did, you couldn't tell how much pain she was in.  She even asked us to take pictures when we visited.  So we are very grateful for those moments with her and are so grateful that she knew we were there and had come home to say goodbye.  We are mostly grateful, though, that she is not suffering anymore.  She passed away yesterday with her son and daughter beside her, as she wanted to.  

In the nearly ten years that I knew Kristoffer's grandmother, I found her to be loving and witty, very curious and so devoted to her family.  She was incredibly proud of her children and grandchildren, and adored her great-grandchildren.  She was also so much fun!  She enjoyed playing games and drinking schnapps for breakfast on holidays!  She was always warm and welcoming to me, and was so generous making quilts and other handmade gifts for us.  It will always be special for us that she traveled to America in her 80s to come to our wedding, and also that Grace was born on her 85th birthday.  

I think within Kristoffer's family there is great relief that she is not suffering anymore, because truly in her last few weeks she suffered quite a lot. I know Kristoffer's Mormor was of an older generation of Danes who were more religious than Danes tend to be these days, so given that, I think she wouldn't mind if I shared this Bible passage, which I find very fitting right now. We all loved her very much, and pray that she can now rest in peace.  

"God shall wipe all tears from their eyes;  and there shall be no more death, nor crying, 
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." 
Revelation 21

Karen Gunhild Pedersen
February 26,  1924 - September 23, 2013


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