Dejavu…..hello emotions of loss

June 30, 2012

Farewell Laura!

For weeks I have been preparing practically for Laura to head off to South Africa, knowing she has a 1 month trip to the USA first. She is back for two weeks and then heads to Holland before back for 2 days and off to S.A for 7 months. I hadn’t prepared emotionally and how does one do that anyway.

Yesterday morning we took her to the airport. My little girl heading off for the first time on a flight by herself. I have every confidence she will be fine. But I recognized emotions churning up below the surface. As we walked back in the house and I saw a big bouquet of flowers which friends who stayed with us last weekend gave, it felt like the aftermath of Mike’s death.

  • The house is empty but Akila & Kathy are here. The loss of one overshadows the presence of two.
  •  Laura left not just her room a mess, but her belongings in the far corners of the house. Mike left without cleaning! Here I go again tidying with a sense of loss in my heart, looking at belongings with little antidote stories behind their history.
  • Laura is still alive but just not physically present.  That’s head logic not heart passion!
  • It’s bizarre because it’s the middle of summer and its grey and raining outside, exactly the same as 3 years ago. The weather is depressing and grey, in line with my emotions.
  • The house is dark, windows closed, a bit of a mess….I should clean but …….Kathy feels the same so I will let her do it, her section!
  • I cooked a nice Indian dinner last night for Kathy, Akila and I. I thought about taking us all out just to walk away from the house and try and change the mood.
  • Kathy and I went shopping for food and realised all the things we do not need to pick up for Laura. We spoilt Akila! It was amazing after Mike died to see what food did not disappear, we realised that it was he, not Laura who would lick a little squirrel munch away on crisps and biscuits.
  • I am so happy for Laura, what a wonderful life she has. I want her to travel and grab life in both hands. I was so happy for Mike to be in the presence of God, to not have to deal any longer with lives’ struggles.  So it’s the creative tension of holding two opposing emotions simultaneously, happy and sad in the one breath.
  • Akila and Kathy are still in the house, I want to take every opportunity to create great memories together. I don’t want to focus so much on what I have lost and miss what I have.
  • It can all be over in an instant, it can also all be over gradually.
  • Physical presence has a much stronger effect on emotion than I give credit for.
  • Mike was taken and I had to release. Laura has left and I have to release.
  • There was finality to Mike’s departure, Laura’s is temporal. In fact I just had a video Skype call with her friend who told me she arrived safely, her travel went fantastic and she is asleep as she is so tired.
  • Why am I so complex!
  • I pass McDonald’s, I don’t have to drive Laura there any more at inconvenient times….oh how I miss the inconvenience!
  • Endings. Over the next months it will unfold all the endings.
  • Laura’s cat is already meowing around the house this morning looking for Laura. How will she cope!
  • There is no pain, no questions, no mystery, no paralysis, no tears (well not many!) but there is separation, but it’s not emotional or relational just physical.
  • It’s all about you Jesus, I come back to that eternal and constant relationship. He is ever present, always with me. How good is that!
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God is sewing on what is missing!

June 27, 2012

Mike wrote “God brought me here to sew on what is missing”. Mike was on Logos II, a ship serving the nations, as a young deck hand. We were wondering how he was getting on being a rather shy boy and not one that talked much.  At that time there were around 100+ on the ship. I so liked Mike’s perspective and phrase. Mike was aware of his personality but more, the way we high-lighted his quiet nature hurt him. He wanted to be a more communicative person and for him, he knew God was working in his life.

“We as humans don’t have the power to change one another, only God has that power. No matter what comes out of our mouths it will not help.” Mike Wrote. We can influence another but can we change someone. Mike felt not and our comments even though they were because we loved him and had a concern, did not help him.

Mike had heard me say to Kath over the years the words of Clint Eastwood from a movie with Sondra Locke “nag, nag, nag” and he used that phrase! Whilst we feel the urge to make comment and have the best intentions we don’t always realize the hurt we can inflict. He later wrote “you know I didn’t realise until now that a quiet person can bring so much joy to someone, knowing that there is someone that Love’s me because of the person I am is like the rain clouds moving out of the way of the Sun and once again the sun shines on me, I just wish that everyone Loved me as a blessing from God”

Ruth Graham knew exactly what she wanted on her grave stone. She was aware that in this life her personality was under construction.

Construction Completed!


He still speaks even though he is dead!

June 23, 2012

I don’t realize either the pain I still carry or the need for soothing my soul, but as I sat and read an email this morning I felt so comforted. The Michael Knight Trust helped financially a young girl in India to attend a 1 month crash  course at a music academy. Her parents wrote a few words of thanks and amongst the comments were “As we think of your son Michael Knight we are reminded of the word from Heb. 11: 4 – “And by faith he (Abel) still speaks, even though he is dead.” Through your help we believe Michael continues to speak even though he is absent from the body and present with the Lord. . . . . . “

As I read these words I felt so much comfort and healing. Abel was the first person after the fall to worship God in a way that was acceptable. I smiled as Mike so enjoyed worship and I believe Father God always enjoyed Mike’s offer of worship. But more than that, the fact that Mike is still speaking through his life and death. What’s so bizarre is that Mike said so few words whilst on earth! Our lifestyle is a message. Love you buddy.

Mike in Brisbane


She jumps to her death.

June 22, 2012

The paper this morning covered the following article ” Angie Dowds, a health guru on hit ITV weightloss show The Biggest Loser (pictured), threw herself off a clifftop at the East Sussex beauty spot Beachy Head. The 42-year-old had texted her ex-girlfriend Edwina Benson moments before, threatening to kill herself. In one text, she said her ‘heart was broken’ and her ‘spirit was broken’. Another read: ‘On your head be it.’

As I sit here at home, looking through my photo’s to see if I took one of Mike on his last day of school, as it is Laura’s today, I am so sad that Angie did not know Hope. As the sad times invade my mind and I stand at the path to darkness, I pause and look up and around to Hope. Hope is a person, Jesus. Angie had so much to live for, others would look at her beauty, her success and from an outward perspective say she had it all. But those dark voices are familiar to me, not that I have had suicidal thoughts. Jesus is Light and when we come to Him, when we spend time reading what He says, not what we say in our mind, gradually or instantly in some cases, not mine, the darkness dissipates.

Please don’t hold back on pointing people to Jesus, however awkward we feel about that. Tell your story and how Jesus has impacted your journey. There are too many Angie types out there. If we life Jesus up, He will draw people to himself.


The begining of the end

June 20, 2012

The end must come before the beginning. Most of us do not like the between stage, the no-mans land. We begin change with an ending. This week is historic in the Knight family, Laura finishes her A level’s which in turn means, school is over. Our little girl, not so little any more being the last one to pass through school. It’s a stage I want to mark with Kathy and give thanks for all the school memories, some good and some bad. Times you wish you could take the place of your child, times you were so proud to see them on stage, on a running track, in a play. We celebrate “they are through it”! To this day we are so grateful that Akila went through main line school with her hearing impairment. She is such a normal kid with similar abilities to any other, why an earth they used to put them in special needs schools I don’t know. The school to this day are proud of both her and their achievement that she went on to complete a social degree at University, the first “Special Needs” person to accomplish that at the school. Mike was like his dad at school. School and Mike were never a good marriage!

Laura does not know what she wants to do in 1 years time. She loves french, but with Uni fees today, should she get such a big debt just to lean a language? Why not live in France for a year, a lot cheaper option. And so we enter a time of Ending……go into the no mans land to cross into a new beginning. We celebrate when we can because we also know there are anxious times ahead on the human level.

Another medal for Laura!

In the no-mans land, ‘Lifestyle faith’ is what we practice as we cope with the human insecurities.

Psalm 139

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too loftyfor me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand —
when I awake,I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

 


Lessons learnt along the way

June 18, 2012

I don’t write on this blog with the frequency I have in the past. The reason…..I have noting to say! If you were to have plugged me to some sort of monitor from August 1st 2009 until now you would have seen, pain, anger, confusion, joy, peace, apathy, lost, fun, either way above or way below normal. Today you would see that all those emotions are back to the normal. But that does not mean I am who I was before Mike died. In fact, I would say in a couple of areas I am radically different. The main change would be that my values have been challenged, re-arranged and have moved from saying I have a value to working that out in my behaviour. What are some of those lessons;

  • At the top of the list….When its all stripped away, its just me and God. I think for years I visited with God. It was more an acquaintance relationship from my side than a walk with God. Today, you will often find me at 5am in my favorite place, a chair in Mike’s room, just sitting and being with God. You see I worked for God for 32 years, doing. What I have learnt is the joy of just being. The joy of seeing and listening. I was so busy rushing through life that I missed so much on the journey. I was a power boat speeding from A to B. Today, I love the process of getting the sails up, catching a breeze and going with the wind. I realise how much I missed.
  • Loss is not something you get over. You never return to the former state. I lost my only son, my buddy, my friend, the boy I enjoyed doing so much with, from the mundane to the fun. You leant to adjust, like a person who had a leg amputated, or paralysis of an arm, you learn how to function with that loss. Nothing will replace Mike.
  • Suffering is horrible and its so beautiful. It takes you to the darkest place of your soul and yet it sharpens and brings a clarity that is beyond the normal. I don’t wish suffering on myself or anyone else, but I am not as quick to wish them out of it, rather that as they or I walk through it, we squeeze out of it everything we can to make us a better person, the person God intends us to be.
  • I empathise with people in pain and need but more than that, it moves me to action. We as a family were blown away by extravagant acts of kindness. Friends from all over the world, smothered us with generosity in so many ways. I want not just be the receptor of that but the initiator. I want to take time to write to the man who I don’t know but saw on TV who lost his son to drugs and now I read in the last couple of years his wife died of cancer. My empathy has to move beyond a thought, it has to be expressed.
  • Cease the moment, create the moment, dont take the moment for granted. When I was recently in the USA for work, it started to dawn on me that the venue for our week of meetings was on a lake, with a speed boat and jet ski! I thought, ‘Mark you can sleep and eat the rest of your life, maximise this opportunity’, so every morning I was up and off on the boat to see the sun rise, I would skip lunch to play on the water, I joined the others in all the fun activities after work until the sun set and then we would enjoy some adult beverage sitting under the stars and chatting. In fact, we cancelled eating out because we were having too much fun at this venue!
  • Take every opportunity to sow a seed for Jesus. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not die, but have eternal life”. If you have Christ, you have life, if you do not have Christ you do not have life. I am so grateful for the awesome tract I developed called “The Father’s love”. I carry it with me the whole time and pass it to people I meet. I still feel awkward doing that, especially to some of the ladies/girls at the check-out, but then I think, “a little embarrassment is nothing compared to the pain of losing Mike, and won’t it be neat when I get to heaven and meet one of those people and they say ‘you gave me a leaflet about your son'”!
  • I choose to not lose my temper! Whilst Kath and I have normal frustration in the relationship, I dont alow myself to get angry as I have in the past. In the immediate days after Mike died, for some reason I thought about and made a concious decission that unity as the family was more important than my views surrounding issues of Mike’s death. That decision came into play very quickly. Kath wanted Mike cremated, I did not. I just sat there whilst Sam, the undertaker and Kath went through the process for 1 hour discussing the issue. At the end, she came to the conclusion that Mike should be burried. I choose to not fight, there is a big difference between fighting and counter opinion! But at the end of the day, most times the issue is so trivial. Why allow it to blow up…I choose not to.
  • Don’t go it alone. Allow people into your life. People want to help. But I am self sufficient, I can do it! This is an onging lesson for me. It’s easy for me to go it alone.

There are several other lessons but they are the main ones that come to mind.

 


Mysterious? Hope you can come!

June 7, 2012

Tickets can be booked at The Sands Centre Box Office If you would like promotional material, let me know.


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