The mortal world lost a beautiful soul this week. My dear gram passed away in her home, surrounded by the people she loved most. I am grateful that I have lived close to Gram my whole life and had a very personal relationship to her. My favorite recent memory was when I called her from Maine on the day we finished our thru hike. "Mackenzie, I have today's date circled in red on my calendar! And I don't even do that for new babies."
Gram always had a sense to know how to make me feel special. As the youngest of four sisters and one of 8 girl cousins within a three year span (dubbed "the middle girls"), it would be easy to remain part of a group. I remember one year when I was probably 11 or so that she got all the middle girls and older girl cousins pajama pants for Christmas. I, however, opened my gift to find a toy stuffed lion. At first I felt a little left out that all my cousins and sisters now had matching pajamas... and is 11 too old to be receiving stuffed animals? But I quickly realized that Gram knew me well enough to know that I would much rather pet and play with a stuffed lion than I would enjoy flannel pajama pants, even if I knew I was getting too old to do so.
The week preceding her death will always be one of my most fond and spiritual memories. We all knew within a few days of her admittance to the hospital that she wasn't going to get better. She had no fear of dying and was open to talking about things like who she wanted to speak at her funeral and who she wanted to participate. Most notably, she looked forward to seeing her husband again. Her last few days in the hospital and then at her bedside were a beautiful testimony of the plan of salvation and the atonement.
Her funeral was yesterday and it was wonderful to have so many family members gather together. All 7 of her children and many of her 38 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren were able to come. It was interesting and a little humorous to see people walk in the church with saddened or pained faces, then greeted with a very lively and happy crowd. While we all miss her, the funeral was a happy occasion We celebrate the life of Sarah Dickson. Though there are tears in my eyes as I type this, I am happy that I know where Gram is and that she is happier there than she has ever been.
My dad's closing remark in the eulogy (and, by the way, I think he should be a professional eulogy speaker) told of him asking Gram a year after Poppop's death how she was doing without him around. After a pause, she said, "The atonement works. It really really works."