Last Sunday, my Grandpa, Byron Lee Borup didn't wake up. We arrived home from church to messages that he was in a coma and the family was gathering to say their goodbyes. He had terminal cancer, but I think it still came as a bit of a shock to all of us. He was up and joking around the day before, and then he just never woke up.
Hearing my family express hope that he might still wake up and say goodbye and it might still be days before he passed away nearly broke my heart. Larry and I had been through this just weeks before with Grandpa Ford and after seeing Grandpa Borup in almost identical condition, we both felt it likely that it would not be long and he would not wake up.
He slipped away around 8:30 that evening. Although everyone was sad, we all knew that Grandpa Borup was really worried about being in a lot of pain in the end, and it was a relief that he passed away so peacefully.
His passing was such a different experience than Grandpa Ford's. It was so hard to see Grandpa Ford go, and since there were only the three grandchildren and their families, there was such a flurry of responsibilities afterward. With Grandpa Borup, we were surrounded by family and support, and I almost felt guilty that I got to be there the day he passed away and my sisters didn't because there was this amazing feeling of family love that I can't even find the words to describe.
We'd spent the day going through old scrapbooks, reading old letters, and hearing stories about him, and it just was an affirmation of what I've always known: that I was lucky to know him.
I remember a few years ago, my dad telling me that his dad was the most kind, tender-hearted person he has even known. I think that's the best complement that you could ever get, and if my son said the same thing about me someday, I would consider my life a success.