Making peace with the “Re” in our lives that does not happen!

March 10, 2015

The paramedics tried to Re-suscitate Mike ,they could not.

I wanted to Re-count to a family of 5, we are 4

Can I not Re-turn to having a son, I have 2 daughters

The “Re” is the desire to go back to a previous state. We use words like rebuild, restore, redeem, return and renew to articulate that desire. But what happens when the “re” does not happen? How do I move forward in a healthy way? How to I transition from where I was,  accepting the loss and now finding I am at a new place, more often than not, not by my choosing?

Oh and then we say have faith, pray more! Well the divorce went through, the business collapsed, the cancer continued, the redundancy went through. The Re was absent! I don’t have an answer here, sorry. All I can do is cry with you and walk with you as you look at the new landscape after the storm has wash away what was norm.

My story with regard to Mike is a little different. I can honestly say that today, I do not want to return to that place. How an earth can I say that? Well it has to do with my faith and hope in the Redemptive Story. I believe the words of Paul in the Holy Scriptures that says

 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. “ 2 Cor 5

Mike has been Re-stored, Re-united and Re-turned in completeness. He is with His Heavenly Father. Whilst I am missing him, I know he is in the best place I could want for him. If he were to have been Re-suscitated he would only have to die later anyway! So within the Redemptive Story I can say 5 ½ years on “I do not want to re-turn” to having a son present, I do have a son, its just he went on ahead!

Healing from the outside in.

February 13, 2013

When will the passion return? When will meaning in the ordinary come back? When will excitement for next steps be evident? Kathy and I wondered the other day whether or not we should have a chat with some sort of counsellor. On the one hand, I have read much, have a pretty good understanding of my personality type and on the other often say “we do not know what we do not know”! I am also a little guarded about chatting to someone who has read much but experienced little!

I’m enjoying a book of speeches written by a gentleman in 1870. He used a phrase that struck out to me; “healing from the inside out”. I remembered a girl on one of our ships who developed lots of boils. The doctor lanced them and kept a piece of gauze in them so that they did not heal from the outside, thus forming a block to let the puss out. The boils had to heal from the inside out.

On the surface and externally, Kathy, Akila, Laura and I are doing well. On the other hand we are very aware of “transition”. We aren’t who were or where we want to be. We havent a clue where we are going or how to get there. I’m very relaxed about it and have seen this “desert” or “quiet place” to be good in our lives. Although we have wondered if by now we should not of already arrived at the next place. It’s now 3 1/2 years since Mike died.

When the air is allowed to come in contact with an external wound, it speeds up the repairing of the skin process. There is no external damage to the emotion of grief. Healing is a slow and unseen process. It’s more than the ingredient of time. It’s a journey of obstacles to face, the confrontation of unwanted intrusions that bring emotions to the surface, the transition of holding on to letting go, looking back and allowing a tear and a smile, focusing on what we have not what we lost, decoding what is important from the stuff of life, engaging in the process not denying it and I suppose importantly excepting not fighting the healing process and thats where time comes in. These processes take time to do their work. If it takes a baby 9 months from conception to delivery then there is no point fighting that time line.

Break-out or break-in

July 23, 2012

How many of us want to break-out? We are caught in a cycle of behaviour, an unwanted circumstance or may be even an un-healthy relationship, but try as we might we cannot break-out of it. We have tried endless times, had success for a while and then find ourselves back there again. Or we are locked in a paradigm that wont allow us to view a wider vista of life.

Mark Stibbe, the previous vicar of St Andrews, Chorleywood said “it’s a revelation our children need”.  Eric Mataxas in his outstanding work on Bonhoeffer wrote “Thus the philosopher-and the theologian who operates on a philosopher’s assumptions-chases his own tail and gazes at his own navel. He cannot break out of that cycle, but God, via revelation can break in”

The amazing part about God’s revelation is that so often it’s a simple change in perspective not a change in physical circumstances. Jesus claimed to be “The Way” “The Truth” “The Light”. What I want more than anything is for God to reveal Himself to me. To do that I invite Him to break-in to my mind-set, my activity, my life……and then I wonder, do I really want that. He did that when He took my son, the pain for the gain is great. I want Him to break-in, I want to experience His love, grace, mercy, glory in tangible ways. I want the power of that break-in to be so strong that I no longer need to break out because I recognize “if the son sets you free, you are free indeed”. That’s my passion for those attending Mysterious? on Sept 8th.

The question is what price am I willing to pay for Him to break-in?

Continuing to accept adjustments

August 15, 2011

Some times we make adjustments in our lives, it’s a purposeful decision, other times we learn to accept the adjustment forced on us. I am aware that many families are all female except for the dad. So the dynamics, expectations and doing life together are what they are. Sometimes we do not know what we had until we lose it. It’s not that we necessarily take it for granted, it’s just we don’t know any different, that is life in our experience. In my case, I had my buddy as well as the girls. For 18 years “the boys” lived life doing boys activities. In most cases, the girls enjoyed the end results of what we were doing but did not really want to be involved in the process. So it we were having a barbecue, Mike enjoyed collecting the wood, making the fire and watching and waiting until the coals were suitable to cook over. The girls would just turn up for the food!

Mike and I also enjoyed removing new items from its packaging and assembling what ever it was we had brought. I have blogged before about the week before he died how we purchased a new TV/DVD/Surround Sound and glass table to put it all on. We had much fun as we put together parts in the wrong way, then saw it didn’t work and finally found the correct way. When Mike was clearing up all the wrapping he came into the kitchen and said “dad, look at this”, he had the instructions in his hand, now we had used them but they were simply pictures and not very detailed at all, but he then turned the paper over, only to discover detailed instructions on the reverse side. We stood there laughing together.

The weather for the past two weeks has basically been rain every day and the forecast for the coming week is no better. With 40+ people coming for Akila’s party, I started to wonder how an earth will I look all the food on a wooden barbecue down the garden. I decided not to take the chance and knowing many stores are offering 50% of garden furniture I decided to buy a gas barbecue. The large box was 60KG without the gas bottle and so Kathy helped me bring it onto the conservatory to assemble. In my mind, as I started to unpack the box, I said “Mike, I’m going to read the instructions and get this one right”. Kathy had tears in her eyes and I realized this was the first box I had brought into the house since Mike’s death that needed the contents to be assembled. She was missing her boy.

Well as typical with me, even though I read the instructions, I hadn’t gone far before I saw I had panels on the wrong way etc, I smiled when I realised and could hear Mike up there saying “how’s the getting this one right going dad!” He had such a dry sense of humor and would have loved to see me getting it wrong, simply as I had said I would get it right!.

And so I continue to accept the adjustment of putting together household equipment without my buddy and all the fun and banter that went with it. I am grateful for the many happy memories I have of the times we did spent together and from his young age experiencing his excitement of opening the box.

Miss you buddy!

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