The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

In Memoriam – Jane Clark

grandma The Realm of the Verbal Processor has been on mute for the last week. We got an early morning phone call on Sunday June 29. Julie’s grandmother died. We were able to get reasonable flights to PA the same day (and Julie’s grandfather offered to pay for the flight). Grandma was 85. She and Grampa had been married for 64 years. They had been dating since they were both 14 years old. Needless to say, this had been really rough on him losing his sweetheart of the last 71 years.

In a brief conversation with Grampa this week, he mentioned that they had grown a lot closer after they retired to Florida 25 years ago. What struck me was that after 40 years of marriage (25 years ago), they grew significantly closer in years 41-64 of their marriage. That is really cool…something that Julie and I aspire to. For that matter, we have a great marriage legacy in our families. Thinking about that prompted me to write the post just below this one.

Grandma will be missed. It is only just becoming “real” to Julie. It hit pretty hard yesterday…capped off by a birthday card last night. My birthday is June 30…the day after Grandma died. They had already sent me a birthday card…it was in Grandma’s handwriting. With our traveling to the funeral over the last week, I didn’t open it until last night. Seeing her Grandma’s handwriting on my card tipped things over the edge for Julie last night. It’s very possible that this was the last birthday card she mailed.

That Sunday morning when we told my five year old that Grandma had died, she had this very brief look of shock and horror and then quickly recovered and said, “We won’t get to see Grandma any more til we get to heaven. So when we go to Grandma and Grampa’s house, we’ll only see Grampa? So now Grandma gets to see the fence?”

Julie was a little confused at first until she realized what Marybeth was talking about. “You mean the one with the pearls?” “Yeah…that one.” Then Marybeth started talking about all the things that Grandma gets to do now. She wrapped up with this (in what is a typical stream of consciousness conversation with MB): “It’s very sad for us that we won’t get to see Grandma for a long time til we get to heaven. We’ll get to see her when we go to heaven, but I don’t think God wants me to go to heaven when I’m five…when I’m a grown up. Then some day we’ll all get to go be in heaven, and there won’t be any more earth, and it will be great because no one will have to die any more.”

She just had a perfect balance of appropriate sadness because we will miss Grandma mixed with appropriate joy at recognizing that death is not the end of things. She even got the end of things right. I’m not sure how she knew this because I haven’t been teaching her any lessons from Revelation, but she nailed it.

July 7, 2008 - Posted by | Jesus, kids, life


  1. So sorry to hear it. It is never fun to lose family, but God really will provide strength. We had similar card post death experiences in our family too. Definitely kindles the emotions. Hope you two enjoy celebrating the life that has been lived well with your family at this time.

    Comment by Kent | July 11, 2008

  2. Julie, Jarvis and girls,
    We were very saddened to hear about your gram’s passing away! We spoke to Julie’s parents in church yesterday and they commented on how God has been blessing in the midst of their grief…what a testimony on how the Father cares for His children! We pray that your memories will help to ease your times of sorrow! We have enjoyed your website and are rejoicing with you on your news of your son’s coming birth! Diane

    Comment by Diane and Gary Eck | July 14, 2008

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