Sunday, 4 December 2016

Love and peace

My youngest son phoned me last night to say he is coming home from university sometime this week and I am looking forward to his return. This might not sound so surprising but it is actually the first time I have consciously looked forward to something since Kev died. Driving home from work that day I was looking forward to the weekend which we had already planned together. Since then I haven’t really been able to anticipate anything with pleasure except perhaps sleep and even that can be marred by insomnia or distressing dreams. So the sensation of looking forward is a good one; I am looking forward just to seeing Matt, to a hug, to the chance to feed him, to talk, and to listen to him and his brother.  Although my sons are not very close they do increasingly talk to each other and will even have a laugh and joke sometimes– for the bantz- as they say!
It is a real blessing that I have my family and I was aware, even through the first shock and numbness, that I had two young people both to some extent dependent on me and so I had to keep going. It is one of the things that gets me out of bed at 6.15 on a freezing morning and into work and it is what will make it possible for me to keep some sort of a Christmas this year. Left to my own devices, I might just crawl back into bed but my wonderful, amazing sons deserve something better than that, and so I will make sure there is at least a welcoming home and some of our family traditions, even though the lynchpin of that family is no longer here.
I’ve been trying to think about Advent and what it means to me this year. Advent is often seen as a period of joyful waiting and watching but it is true to say that it is not wholly devoid of the bleakness of waiting, of waiting that seems to have no end. Surely we find such waiting in the long and doubtless grief-stricken barrenness of Elizabeth, in characters such as Simeon and the tradition of his increasing blindness which might be seen as a metaphor for the gradual extinguishing of hope, in the long exile of the Jews, and in all who wait for deliverance. Bonhoeffer described Advent as like, "a prison cell in which we wait and hope, the door is locked and can only be opened from the outside," while C.S.Lewis gives us Narnia where it is always winter and never Christmas and the hapless figures at Cair Paravel are paralysed, frozen in time.

I know that come Christmas day our family will still be paralysed with grief because grief has its own time and seasons and by its nature won’t and can’t be hurried on. But we will talk, laugh,  maybe cry. There may only be a little joy but I am hoping for peace,and I am sure there will be plenty of love.

13 comments:

  1. The love of family friends and neighbours is never more important than in bereavement, and it is then that life-long friendships are often formed.
    I am so glad you have your boys and that they have you.
    If you need to cry do so, openly and without apology or embarrassment. If you can manage to laugh that is even more valuable. Above all, don't ever feel that there is a formula for grief, there really isn't.
    Help each other through this time whether long or short and I pray you will find peace.
    Love blessings and prayers for you all.

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  2. Thank you, Ray. I will visit your blog at some point, I've really been too absorbed in myself (fairly understandably!) to read blogs lately, I hope you are well. Not sure this blog is read much now but I will still use it to journal my thoughts and feeling when I have the time and inclination.

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  3. Please do continue to blog Sue. Your posts are always worth reading and you may, as I did, find blogging a useful tool to relieve some of the bad days.

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  4. Sue, I'm so sorry to hear about Kev's death. I lit a candle for you at church and am wishing you peace.

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  5. Sincere condolences on the death of your husband. I'm not surprised you haven't felt much like blogging lately but I hope you will continue to do so as and when you feel able. May your 1st Christmas without your husband be peaceful, with lots of love alongside the tears.

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  6. Thank you, Nancy. Wishing you the best this Christmas.

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  7. Dear Suem, such an important post for us all to read. So sorry for your loss! In a short period of time, this has happened to two loving women I follow. Those boys of yours are really a blessing, they must suffer too but their life runs on in a different manner than yours right now. The empty house is your experience. You are very right about Advent, it's very much like lent, we only fail to mention it, it's a merchant festival instead. But the lights will be lit, one by one, the darkness will eventuelly fade. I hope you may find yourself in some kind of Christmasfeeling, however our lifes are, the Saviour will appear, nothing can stop Him. And he will share what Christmas you have. I am glad you look forward to that visit, I would say we all need a touch of life-the-ordinary-and wellknown, when everything else is a burden. Tears and laughter, smalltalk, as normal as it gets. Blessings to you this Christmas!!!

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  8. Sue, I've been away from blogging for a while, so have only just seen this. I'm so very sorry to hear of Kev's death. Such a terrible blow for you and your sons, made worse by the suddenness. I do hope that Christmas with your beloved sons will bring you peace and comfort in the midst of your grief.

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  9. Thank you Perpetua. They are both at home now as well as my mum here and it is good to have a full(er) house again so close to Christmas. Blessings to everyone this year.

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  10. Suem, I too have been too preoccupied with troubles in the family and in the world to notice much in the blogging world. Sorry is such an easy word and yet it is all we have. I am truly sorry for the death of your husband - dealing with grief is different for each person and you are obviously being very brave to share some of your thoughts. Prayers and Christmas Blessings from Dalamory.

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  11. Thanks Freda and sorry you have had your troubles. I hope you have a good Christmas.

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