Hiya all !! I know, I know, the first line of a lot of my blogs is… I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last blogged.. all I can say is, sorry about that. My excuse is pretty much always the same… I have too many things to blog about, so instead of doing the wise thing and writing them all up and sheduling them to appear in the following days/weeks, I just don’t do them at all.
So, let’s look at the position of the grief train at this point. We’re just passed the 10month mark… and I’m actually doing really really well. I haven’t cried in probably a month… I am very easily able to smile or laugh up at Dad in his picture every time I walk by it (which is a lot !!), the ‘firsts’ haven’t been anywhere near as bad. eg. Christmas was weird, but not sad. With such a thing as Christmas, or any family gathering of any sort actually, it’s pretty easy to be outright pleased Dad isn’t with us, as he would have been stooped over in his wheelchair, struggling to eat his food, and not being able to be apart of the conversation at all.
In his defence, our gatherings do tend to be fast paced…. conversations going a million miles a minute… add in there a couple of small children, and it’s pretty loud and interesting. It’s actually pretty exciting to think where he is, and what he is experiencing, in comparison to being at one of these gatherings in the way he was.
The ‘memories’ on FB are starting to ramp up as we get closer to the first anniversary of Dad going home, but most of the time they are amusing, or just lovely to remember. I have no doubt it will get harder in the coming 2 months as Dad deteriorated and became far more obviously unwell and closer to heading Home. BUT, as always, I have tons of scripture to lean on in the tough times. Some of the most appropriate at these times are..
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov 3:5-6
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I could go on with so many more, but you get the idea !! #declareit
My poor Mum has struggled, as her grief took a bit of time to really kick in, and with some family breakdowns causing more heartbreak, it hasn’t been an easy last few months. As most of us know, families can be tough. A lot of us wouldn’t choose our family as our closest friends, but we need to look for the surprise blessings in amongst the struggles. I’m choosing to rest on the truth that we serve a God of love, faithfulness and RECONCILIATION… so there are amazing times ahead for our family !!!
My sister & I are a perfect example of this… We are so not alike, it’s not even funny… and we’ve had more fallings out than I care to remember.. but there is NO-ONE on this earth that I have more fun with, laugh harder with, or whos company I crave more in time of struggle. So the lesson I’ve learnt here.. and am continuing to learn.. is that a lot of the time, God has it worked out far better than we could ever plan it. (funny that) If we just went with the relationships that WE choose, then we’d miss out on soooo much joy !!!!
Another thing I’ve been challenged with throughout this process is that we need to realise that different people have different giftings when it comes to both going through the grieving process themselves, and being a supportive person to those going through grief. I made the mistake of thinking that someone very close would be of great support to me in going through the loss of Dad, when in fact it turned out to be the least supportive person. (Yes, I’m taking the extremely optimistic view that this person’s giftings simply fall in another area, rather than that maybe they’re just super mean & insensitive.. ha ha). I’m not gonna lie though, it’s not easy to accept that even when you outright ask for prayer, the answer appears to be a flat out no. It’s hard to not think.. “Seriously, who does that?” but here in-lies the lesson. Each person is gifted in the way that GOD planned them to be. So, whether it seems sad, or hurtful, or surprising to us… it’s still the BEST way for things to be.
On the flipside, and this also shows God’s hand in things as stated above, I have had people I never expected to be pivotal in my ‘coming out of the haze’, end up providing some of the best support I could have asked for at such a time.
I mean, seriously…. Is God not cool or what !!!!!!!!!!! Really, when you think about it… in an optimistic light and with a KINGDOM mentality … you can see God’s hand in EVERY situation….. especially the really tough ones !!
Seeing my children go through this grief process has been interesting too, as I distinctly remember grieving my grandparents.. and it was ROUGH !! It was different with Dad though, as my kiddos never knew him as being well. They each had an amazing bond with my Dad, which is really heartwarming to think on. I trust his influence will stay with them right through their lives.
Music has also been something HUGE throughout this journey !!! Something my kids have also taken on (in some ways, they’ve had no choice as I just play the music all the time. ha ha), but I simply LOVE to listen to the old hymns and worship songs that we listened to in the weeks leading up to Dad’s departure. They honestly are some of the most precious times to think back on. Any Alan Jackson hymn sung is an extremely strong reminder of those weeks. They used to hurt a bit to listen to, but now they are just pure joy !!! Master 12 really loves listening to ‘The Old Rugged Cross” . because it was Poppy’s favourite. He also likes “Blessed Assurance”. You gotta love Hymns, they’re the BEST !!
If you feel like it, go You Tube Alan Jackson’s ‘Blessed Assurance’. You won’t regret it.
Blessings Peeps !!! xox