My Grandma Kirkingburg Died Tonight

I have some great news. My grandma Kirkingburg, born February 04, 1925, went home tonight, May 09, 2012, at 11:16 PM. She is with Jesus now, along with her mother, her two babies that died as infants, Paul the apostle, King David, Moses and Joshua; oh man, what a time she is having. Yes, we are sad because we will miss her until our great reunion, but I feel like jumping straight out of this chair and praising God for staying true to his promise, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Jesus took Grandma home! I am so thankful for that.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, Grandpa and Grandma served as missionaries to the Turks and Caicos Islands. In fact, Grandma wrote a book about the whole experience, called “Seeing the Need”.

One thing that stands out to me in her book is that she overcame her crippling fear of flying to serve the island people. A single engine plane was Grandpa and Grandma’s only vehicle to and from the islands. They had a concrete cistern for collecting rain water, which they used for showers, cooking, and drinking; they had no electricity and no generator; and received a poverty-level income.

Grandma was a prayer warrior. For Grandma’s entire adult life, she has prayed daily, by name, for each member of her family: Grandpa (her husband), her brother, her sons and daughter (including her adopted daughter from the islands), her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. She has read the Bible, cover to cover, more than sixty times and has filled up several Bibles with her personal study notes; some of which she has given to her family. She told me, “Todd, I promised the LORD I would read the Bible all the way through, each year, for the rest of my life. I kept my promise.” God saved her at Salvation Camp, Hillsdale County, MI, in her early twenties and she stayed true ever since. She told me that during that service, the evangelist was preaching on rebellion and she felt he was speaking directly to her. She immediately asked Jesus into her heart and never turned back.

Mom told me she will miss Grandma’s prayers the most. When Grandma was in the hospital on Easter Sunday, I was privileged to once again hear her pray. It was the last time I saw her, and it is comforting for me to remember that voice: Grandma, speaking with her personal Saviour. Just before she died, my grandfather knelt down beside his ‘darling pudding pie’ (that’s what he calls her) and earnestly prayed while holding her hand. He told God that she was a good wife and a good mother. He deeply loves her. I love to hear my Grandpa pray – it moves me.

I do not say this lightly: if ever there was a Christian to emulate, it is Grandma, and I am so thankful to receive that rare spiritual heritage. What an honor to know her. And now, she is praising God, fully transformed and shining like the sun in our Saviour’s AWESOME presence. She is home, at last!

Til I see you again, Grandma, I love you.

God is so good!

Todd

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About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
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14 Responses to My Grandma Kirkingburg Died Tonight

  1. Amen! RIP! Thank God for those “faithful” ones in our life! WE are in the land of death & dying, but not those who cross over ‘In Christ’, they are “alive & well”! 🙂

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  2. Todd, what an amazing heritage for you and what an amazing testimony of the grace of God in a life committed to Him.

    I rejoice with you that your beloved Grandma is now with her Lord, enjoying the riches of His abundance, but I do sympathise with you and your family, because while rejoicing, you will miss her – and especially your Grandpa, as he will sadly miss her by his side after so many years of working together.

    We are one day closer to His coming.
    What an amazing God!

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  3. We will miss BEAUTIFUL grandma ~but you’re right, she’s with the great and noble ones! You’ve brought the tenderest feelings in my heart with your beautiful post, thank you Todd. We’re definitely 1 day nearer to his appearances ! Bless you and yours, Deborah

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  4. Todd Beal says:

    Fr. Robert, Angela, Deb:

    Thanks for your words of wisdom and for your support. I really appreciate that.

    What a great “Going Home” service that was. Before Grandma died, she gave mom a 1973 cassette recording of her singing “It Will Be Worth It All.” Grandma is 87 years old but recorded this song on the mission field when she was 48. Mom had the cassette professionally transferred to digital format, which I then re-mastered in my audio editing software. We played that CD at the service conclusion: what a sobering, and yet comforting, moment.

    This whole weekend impacted me in ways that go beyond words. I will put it this way: individuals lives were forever changed this weekend – visibly – as a result of Grandma’s witness and testimony.

    And just think, someday she and I, and all the others whose lives she spiritually impacted, will walk/run through the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, arm in arm, singing hallelujah to the Lamb!! Woo Hoo! That will be AWESOME! Tell you what, when we get there I’ll introduce you to her. Oh man, what a reunion that will be.

    I’ll race you there!

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    • Todd, this is Angie (Drummonds) I’m not sure if I have the right Todd but I sure hope I do!

      Regardless, I’m so sorry about losing your grandma! But what comfort your words are, especially to those of us who have lost the very precious Christian people in our lives that showed us how to walk in the path that God paved for our lives!

      If this is the right Todd, find me on facebook, have a lot to catch up on.
      God Bless you and your family!!!

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      • Todd Beal says:

        Thanks Angie. Yep, this is me, the right Todd. I now know that your Dad died and I know your heart still aches for him. But stay true to God, and one day you will fall into your Dad’s arms once again.

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  5. NewLeafLeader says:

    Terrific tribute to an amazing lady. What a mission your grandma fulfilled in this life!

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  6. I’m so happy that you can share in the hope of a believer, unlike “others which have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We have this in common. As I looked down at the date, the day I am writing this, I noticed that today was the 21st anniversary of my father’s homegoing.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      Yeah Anthony, I have attended the funeral of individuals whose eternal state was either uncertain or sadly known. It truly feels like death is present in the room. But not so in a “Going Home” service for a follower of Christ. Nothing can take the place of knowing we will see that person again; that hope, that joy of knowing our separation is temporary.

      However, even though we rejoice for the Christian who passes on into Jesus’ presence, we, the loved ones, are left behind, and our humanness still grieves our physical separation. It sounds to me, based on your previous posts, that you and your dad were close and that he had a strong impact on your life. I’m sure you miss him. It will be great to see you two together when we get to heaven.

      Anthony, I love music, especially powerful, passionate music. Someday, millions of Christians from all of history will sing in one massive chorus; one resounding powerful Praise to Jesus for his sacrifice. Wow, what a day that will be!

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  7. Leslie Brown says:

    Todd, are there any copies of your Grandmother’s book in circulation? I wish to read and learn more. Her life is one to emulate, you were truly blessed to know her.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      Leslie,

      I apologize for the late reply. My computer died and I had to buy a new one.

      Unfortunately, there were only a limited number of copies printed and there are none left. My goal is to re-edit the book and publish it sometime in the future. Self-publishing is very expensive, so I’ll probably publish it for the Kindle on Amazon (the Kindle is also available as a free software download for the PC ).

      Thanks a lot for stopping by.

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