The ALS Association

Last Goodbyes

Marikatherine A. Greensboro, North Carolina

This is part of my eighth grade sermon I wrote in honor of my grandfather who passed away April 18, 2014 after being diagnosed May 3, 2013 - About a year ago, I found out my grandfather had ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. It was very hard on my family, and we made many trips back and forth to Michigan to visit. In the past year, during most of our breaks, I would sit with my grandfather and share what I had done since the last time I has seen him. I knew that he would not be around for much longer, and I wanted to spend as much time with him as I could. Before spring break, I did not realize how much worse he had gotten since I had seen him three week earlier. My mom told me that he might not make it to the end of the week. Nurses began saying it might be a week or even any day that he might die. Friends began coming to say their last goodbyes. This was all so hard to watch and experience. I decided that I would begin to pray. I prayed that my grandfather would stay strong and keep fighting, but it didn’t make things anything better. I prayed he would miraculously become well again, but nothing changed. At one point, my grandfather fell into a deep sleep, and my family and I were told he may not wake up again. So I prayed that we would get one last chance to say goodbye. This time, I could see my prayer was answered, because he woke up and tried communicate with us. Then he fell into another deep sleep. We all knew that this could be the end. My whole family was there, and we sat next to him the whole day, just waiting. Before I went to bed, I prayed again – the same thing: that he would keep fighting. That he would wake up and be better. When I heard the nurse say, “I think he is gone,” I knew my prayer wasn’t answered the way I had wanted.

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