Tag Archives: Charlie Hall

The Story So Far – Chapter 18 – Numb Again

CHAPTER 18 – NUMB AGAIN

Just when you think you are back on your feet and moving forward again, there is always something else just waiting around the corner.

You could say it was no exaggeration that I struggled with the death of my Nan, from the moment I found out, right up until the funeral I was struggling with the whole thing, most of it stemming from that deep resentment for my own actions over the previous years.

Then just as I thought I was back in the groove, walking each day and moving forward once again, the peace was broken once more by yet another phone call.

At 4.30pm, Saturday 27th April 2013, everything came crashing down yet again.  This time my Dad rang to say that his Mum had died earlier in the morning.  So once again that numb feeling returned, after the phone call ended I sat there in tears once more.

That early heartbreak held for a day or two, but it wasn’t really the same as last time.  Mainly because even though I loved my Nan, I wasn’t as close to her as I was my other Nan, whereas I spent so much time in my childhood with my first Nan,  I hadn’t spent quite as much time with this Nan.  My Dad’s family were from Blidworth, near Mansfield, although it’s not that far from us, less than twenty miles, neither of my parents could drive when I was younger, so to get there we had to take a rather unreliable bus service.  My parents would put my sister and I on the bus in Newark and my Nan would meets us at the other end.  We would spend the day with her and then she would put us back on the bus at night and my parents would meet us at the bus station. I wouldn’t dream of doing that with my kids now, but back then it was just one of those things that happened.  What was more interesting was that we didn’t have a telephone until I was about eight, my parents weren’t that well schooled either, they could barely spell and not the letter writing sort of people, so I’m not sure to this day how they managed to arrange things, because everything seemed to go to plan, there was always someone there to meet us on time.

My sister would go and spend weeks in the summer holidays with my Nan in Blidworth, but I never did.  So that closeness I felt for my Nan on my Mum’s side was far more than I felt for my other Nan.

But nevertheless, that shock that she had died still hit hard over those first few days, but even though once again the funeral was to be a couple of weeks away, I managed to deal with the grief better this time around.  Maybe it was because I had actually seen my Nan few years before, my Mum and Dad took me to see her in hospital in Mansfield when she had been ill at one point and not really expected to pull through.  I remember seeing her and not really liking what I saw, it wasn’t the Nan I remember, somehow she wasn’t there, she remembered me and even called me stranger, but other than that she seemed to be in a world of her own, nothing like the memories I had of her.

This visit came at a time when I was struggling with the alcohol, it was just before Christmas 2010 and I was deep into my problems by then.  I guess because I had actually seen her during this time, I didn’t have the same deep routed remorse that I had had for my other Nan, so it seemed easier to deal with this time around.

It wasn’t until the day of the funeral until I really broke down.  I went with my Mum and Dad to meet everyone at my Aunt’s house in Rainworth, the funeral procession would start from there.  I was okay whilst I was stood there talking with my Uncle and cousins, but as soon as I saw the hearse pull up, I began to struggle, I remember one of my younger cousins breaking down in tears in front of me and then from that point, I broke down too and descended back into that feeling of wanting to deal with this alone and in my own way.

I sat with my family during the service, but once again stood alone at the burial just like the last time.  Once again I felt like I had to do this all alone, that was until my Aunt came over and wrapped her arms around me, we cried together for a while and as soon as she released me, it felt like it was all going to be okay.

I sat quietly through the wake, I was sociable, but not overly talkative.  Whereas last time I had started to come around and start to open up and let things go a bit, this time it seemed like it was all a delayed reaction.  I remember sitting there writing a poem to both of my Nan’s on my phone, which I then posted on my Blog.  When I got home later I took the unprecedented step of posting my poem on Facebook, I thought that my cousins and family would appreciate it too, I don’t usually share anything on Facebook these days, but this time I thought it would be fine and it was, my cousins soon liked the post.

That day I had actually written two poems, I wrote one in the early hours of the morning to my Nan and then this one in the afternoon, both were quite personal, but I still shared them.

Always And Forever

Do we ever say the words
That reside deep within our soul

We hold them for a special moment
That never really comes
A time, a place
That’s perfect in our dreams
Yet we let those moments pass
Opportunity lost
And words are left unsaid
Now death has come between us
Can you hear these words I write
Can you see them
Can you feel them
Can you look within my heart
And take these words
Hold these feelings
Of this love I’ve held inside
That I’ve never before said
And know that I mean them now
With all I am
Like always
And forever

 

My Goodbyes

My goodbyes
Now they’re all said
As I stood there
In my silence
Tears leaving tracks
Gradually falling
Into space

I’ve said goodbye now
To both of you
My treasured Nans
I’ll hold my memories
Close to my heart
Forever carrying
The love you both gave

Goodbye to you both
My ladies of strength

At the funeral there was a couple of friends of my Nan that I didn’t really know, one of them was called Steven, I didn’t know him, but my Nan often spoke of him as a friend from her Church, but the other guy I didn’t know at all, my Dad did, but I don’t actually remember who he said he was.  Towards end of the wake they got up to leave, but this guy came over towards me, as he approached he said to me he felt like he had to come over and say something, at that point he put his hand on my shoulder and then suddenly stopped speaking, he took his hand away and all he said was “your gonna be okay!”

To this day I’m not sure what he felt when he put his hand on my shoulder or what it was he was actually going to say.  Knowing that he was a friend of my Nan’s from Church, I hope he felt the Hand of God on my shoulder too, I’m sure he felt it, he never said, but I like to think that that was what happened.

When I got home later that day another odd thing happened.  Years before my kids had brought me a key ring of Barney Gumble from the Simpsons, it was one of him in his typical drunk state with a pint of bear in his hand.  As I closed the gate and turned to lock it, it fell off my keyring.  I never noticed that it was close to falling off before, but it chose this day to fall off for good.  I took it as a sign that the fight against any cravings for alcohol was finally over, when this image fell away, it took away any stigma I had attached to myself about being an alcoholic.

Things really didn’t improve for me that evening either, I still felt really low and it continued into the next day too.  Thankfully it was a Wednesday evening and I set off for Connect Group at Paul and Sarah’s house.  I was distinctly quiet when I got there, still trapped within my own mind, I didn’t really interact with anyone, which isn’t like me at Connect Group, we all get on so well.  But as the night went along, this group of people seemed to have a way of just bringing me around, by the time I left their house that night, I was back to what could be considered somewhere near normal, even Sarah the next week commented on how during the evening I completely changed, how I came out of my shell as the evening went along.

Once again with all of that out of the way I managed to get myself back on track, get out walking most mornings and moving forward again.  It had been a strange couple of months, in the space of less than two months I had lost my two remaining Grand Parents, although sandwiched in between were those great days of my first anniversary of being sober, it was all a bit of a rollercoaster ride to say the least.

SLEEP AND DREAMS by CHARLIE HALL
Close your eyes, it’s time to sleep
The day is done and it’s the time to breathe and dream
I pray that bands of angels fill your room
And the songs of God would come, consume you

Rest your head on hallelujahs
Rest your head on all God is
Rest your head, the day is done
And now it’s time to sleep

And put your mind on things above
And let your heart be filled with faith and hope, and love
I pray that bands of angels fill your room
And the songs of God would come, consume you

Rest your head on hallelujahs
Rest your head on all God is
Rest your head, the day is done
And now it’s time to sleep

Rest your head on hallelujahs
Rest your head on all God is
Rest your head, the day is done
And now it’s time to sleep

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
May the God of dreams come and fill your sleep
And may the God of dreams come and fill your sleep

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
May the God of hope come and fill your soul
May the God of hope come and fill your soul

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
May the peace of Christ come and fill your life
May the peace of Christ come and fill your life

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
If you’re yearning, if you’re thirsty
Child, come

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
On hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs

Verse of the Day – Psalm 55:5-6

Psalm 55:5-6

Psalm 55:5-6

This time last year I had fallen deep into those fears and the trembling, I was so set in those fears and depression, I never stopped to listen to the Lord and feel His peace come over me.

Sometimes, we just have to take a step back and rest in Him.

I heard this song this morning, the lyrics are perfect for this post.

SLEEP AND DREAMS by CHARLIE HALL
Close your eyes, it’s time to sleep
The day is done and it’s the time to breathe and dream
I pray that bands of angels fill your room
And the songs of God would come, consume you

Rest your head on hallelujahs
Rest your head on all God is
Rest your head, the day is done
And now it’s time to sleep

And put your mind on things above
And let your heart be filled with faith and hope, and love
I pray that bands of angels fill your room
And the songs of God would come, consume you

Rest your head on hallelujahs
Rest your head on all God is
Rest your head, the day is done
And now it’s time to sleep

Rest your head on hallelujahs
Rest your head on all God is
Rest your head, the day is done
And now it’s time to sleep

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
May the God of dreams come and fill your sleep
And may the God of dreams come and fill your sleep

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
May the God of hope come and fill your soul
May the God of hope come and fill your soul

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
May the peace of Christ come and fill your life
May the peace of Christ come and fill your life

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
If you’re yearning, if you’re thirsty
Child, come

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs

Rest your heads on hallelujahs
On hallelujahs
Rest your heads on hallelujahs

Getting Stressed

I know this is supposed to be a week I’ve booked off work, but as with almost everything in my life, it’s not that simple, it never quite is!

I do have a number of things I need to do this week and a couple of them I’m not really looking forward to.

I did agree to do some work for the Architect this morning, so after a lazy day yesterday (apart from an 11 mile walk that is), I got up and out the house this morning at 5.30am, hoping to walk into a great sunrise, but if yesterday’s was smothered by mist, today it was just cloud, cloud everywhere, although the sun broke through as I came back close to home, there wasn’t a lot to see or photograph, even the spiders and their webs were hidden today. So after just over three hours and 13.5 miles completed, I returned home.

Finally The Sun

Finally The Sun

After a shower and a bite to eat I set off for a few hours work and also to go through the details for tomorrow, the thing I’m really not looking forward to!

I got most of the work done, I have some to finish in my own time later this week, but as the morning rolled on it became clear, there really was no getting out of tomorrow.

Basically I’m due in Lincoln County Court tomorrow, as a witness for the Architect. It’s only a case involving unpaid fees, but it seems to be getting ugly, as well as a professional element, there is also a domestic side to it which is in all honesty causing the situation to get ugly.

It’s clear from the messages and e-mails, I’ve read this morning, they aren’t going to let it drop and have no intention of paying up, despite them not really having a case. Which means I will have to attend, sit in the hearing and face what is definitely not going to be a civilised meeting.

I have prayed this morning and indeed over the last few days, hoping that this would be settled before the Court date, but I really can’t see it happening now. I really don’t want to be part of it, all I can do is be honest and say what I have to say.

I really hope it isn’t stressful, but I think it will be, the thing is Thursday morning I’m back at the Doctor’s to check my blood pressure is still okay and hasn’t risen, after tomorrow it probably will. I really want to keep this medication down to two tablets, I was over the moon when I was told we could try lowering the medication, I want to keep it that way.

I’m still hoping and praying I’ll get a message saying it’s all settled, but knowing the other side, I really just can’t see it, so I’ll just have to do my best to stay calm.

BREATHE by CHARLIE HALL
Come illuminate the face that brings the healing
Come illuminate the truth that brings the freeing
Oh, Holy ghost, come breathe on us

Come and heal the hearts, brokenness and weeping
We stand beneath the cross, thankful for the washing
Oh, Holy ghost, come breathe on us

Consume the atmosphere, here

Shine a light, shine a light
Through the open life
Let our hearts and the hearts of the King collide
Oh, Holy God, come breathe on us

Breathe, breathe on us

Just One More Great Anniversary Left

Over the last couple of weeks, a number of first anniversaries have arrived and now passed, it’s been great to reflect on the last year of my life and difference between the old me and the new me.

Those anniversaries of last weekend were precious, the fact those first anniversaries of my sobriety and entering Everyday Champions Church coincided with the Easter weekend made them all the more special.

Last night a number of friends from Church congregated to celebrate those last twelve months, James arranged a get-together at his house, which was a great night to be with friends who have been there for me over those weeks, those who have been with me through the painful times, the great times, the sad times and desperate times, all them have been so supportive I could not ask for better people around me.

So tomorrow will be the last of those first year milestones for the time being, it was on this weekend last year that I raised my hand during Gareth’s preach to accept Jesus as my saviour, on that day I made the decision that I had found exactly what I needed to make it through, God, Jesus and friends, all have served to turn this undeserving individual into a new man and I can’t thank them all enough.

Just like the sunshine
You have been our light
Leading us into beautiful places
We’ve walked through fire
But You made us brighter
Leading us into beautiful places
Faithful Jesus, healing savior
Compass, center, bread of life
Faithful Jesus, cherished treasure
Our portion, wisdom God’s great light
(The Constant by Charlie Hall)