edited: Wednesday, January 11, 2006
By Linda C Beattie Inlow
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2003
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One way to say "good-bye".
One Way to Say Good-bye
More than forty years has passed since my great-grandmother died. Yet it seems like just last week I was holding my father’s hand walking into the glaring sunlight from the dark interior of the funeral home. First I glanced upward to my mother’s tear streaked face, then looked expectantly at my father’s’ stalwart expression and asked him, “Why is Mommy crying?"
My father in his infinite wisdom explained, “Mommy is sad because she won’t be able to talk to Grandma again. So she is crying.”
In my five-year-old mind theology, religion and telecommunication must have melded together into divine inspiration. For when we went home, I immediately went upstairs to my bedroom. I walked around my bed to the low narrow gabled corner. There I huddled between bed and wall my back to the corner and dialed up God on an imaginary rotary telephone.
I can remember asking to be put through to my great-grandmother. When the “connection” was made, I recall saying “we’ll miss you,” and “good-bye.” I remember feeling relief and a sense of completeness as I hung up the ‘phone.’
Death has visited my family many times over the years, five children, a spouse, more grandparents, and a variety of other relatives. Yet each time it came knocking I recall a child’s simple faith, an imaginary phone and the opportunity to say, “Goodbye.”