My grandfather, Garth Peder Jensen passed away just a couple weeks ago on Easter Sunday. We will sorely miss him, but I know I’ll see him again someday! He’s always been there for me. Here he’s smiling good-naturedly with my Grandmas at my wedding in 1993. His wife, my Grandma Mary, passed away 7 years ago.
He always had some quick wit to share as I’m sure he did here.
He was really sad after my Grandma died. He seemed to have a yearly bout of pneumonia that required hospitalization, which didn’t surprise me as he loved his soda, whole milk and doughnuts. My mom told him he never needed to have pneumonia again if he would make some dietary changes. He was willing.
My sister, Ami, who was helping take care of him, slowly substituted healthier foods in his diet. He never had pneumonia again, felt stronger, wanted to go more places and returned to his old cheerful self, singing, whistling and constantly making witty remarks.
Here he is with Lily at Ami’s wedding last year.
We have all felt very fortunate to have had him with us for so long. I’m grateful that my children have been able to spend time with him. Here he is with Raquel just 3 months ago.
My grandfather’s given name is Garth Peter Jensen, but I found out when Ian was born that Grandpa Garth’s parents had actually named him Garth Peder after my great, great grandfather. But when they went to fill out the birth certificate, they switched the middle name to the American form “Peter” because they thought it was more mainstream.
Towards the end of my grandpa’s life, he preferred being called Garth Peder. We decided to name our baby, born January 10 of this year, Ian Peder Wilson. We loved establishing that tie to grandpa and my great, great grandfather, who was also an amazing person.
Here is a picture of Garth Peder holding his one-month old namesake, Ian Peder. So sweet!
My Grandpa Garth’s level of wellness rapidly declined the month after his 93rd birthday. Here we are 2 weeks before Easter.
He had made a decision that he wanted to be at home, not in the hospital. When it came down to the last week, we knew his time of passing was close.
Family gathered to visit and be with him. Mike was there with Nathan and Raquel the day before Easter. Sweet memories were made as the family sang to him around his bedside. I’m so glad my children were able to experience that. He passed on Easter Sunday, peacefully surrounded by loving family members.
More family members and old friends gathered later that week to pay their respects and celebrate his life.
Here is my father and mother, Brent and Sandi. My angel mother and sister Ami handled the majority of my grandpa’s care-taking after my grandmother passed away.
I find it so sweet that Grandpa passed away on Easter Sunday. This magnified to me the hope and belief we hold that Jesus Christ, through His atonement and resurrection, made it possible for us to be together with our loved ones after death and obtain perfect bodies again someday. I feel in the depths of my soul that this is true.
As soon as we heard of Grandpa’s passing, I rejoiced in the thought that he was having a dear reunion with his beloved wife, Mary. Instead of being a solemn and sad event, this understanding made his funeral more of a time to celebrate his life.
My children were glad see so many relatives that day.
My sister, Ami led family and friends in singing one of Grandpa’s favorite songs, “Another Perfect Day Has Passed Away.”
I know that Jesus Christ has prepared a way for families to be together after death. I know we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and wants us to be happy here on earth and for eternity. This knowledge brings me peace and lessens my own fear of death. I know I will see my Grandpa Garth again someday.
For those of you who have lost loved ones, may you also find hope and comfort through Jesus Christ.