Tag Archives: Death

Empty Grave

Empty Grave

So there is still an empty grave
Yet we’re still looking
For a place to lay
Upon the end of life
Counting our days
Don’t we know?
The time is now
The time to die
And be raised again
The grave is empty
Not waiting for us
So live a life
A life with Christ
Who rose from the grave
To put an end to death

Life Anew – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Life Anew – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Through His love
He died for us
Going to the grave
To redeem our souls
In the sacrifice
We died with Him
And in the resurrection
We gain life anew
So we should no longer
Live for our means
But live for the One
Who gave us life
Who died for our sins

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

The Raven’s Call

The Raven’s Call

And when the raven’s call
I swear no man will fall
Death will not conquer
For our Christ broke it’s hold
He trampled death
Upon the cross
So no man will ever fall
Even at the raven’s call
Because the Lord gave His son
To conquer death and trample fear
For the salvation of us all
So if the raven’s ever call
He promises His children will never fall

The Night I Stopped Believing

As I wrote earlier this week I have been reading the autobiography “The Reason” by Lacey Sturm, the former lead singer of the Christian band Flyleaf.  It resonates with me so much, as there are a few similarities within our stories.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe my life has been much easier than Lacey’s, far less dramatic, but I can identify with many of the dark episodes in her life, which obviously bring me full cycle and back to thinking about those episodes in my life.

There are a couple of these issues I have discussed previously one this blog and will probably write about once more in the coming weeks.  But one issue I am sure I have not written about in detail, I may have touched on this in previous posts, but never gone into any detail about my feelings of that time in my history.

I know I have only spoken with a handful of people about this moment in my life, I know I spoke with Gareth about this the night he came to visit.  That night we discussed my drinking problem and how I had found myself in such a hole.  Gareth talked about the power of God and asked if he could pray for me, which I agreed too, he prayed whilst I just sat there crying.  I did a lot of crying that night, if God collects our tears and keeps them in a jar, then my jar must have overflowed and created an ocean that night.

I often site on here that the first time I prayed was a two nights after that meeting with Gareth, on a night when despite all the stress and the strain of my life at that point, I got through the night without a drink, without the urge for a drink, without pacing the house, without scratching at my arms, without continually rubbing my hands together and without breaking down, that night I prayed and I tell myself that it was the first time I had ever prayed.

But that’s not exactly true, because I had prayed once before, but I bury the memory, I try to keep in a box, hidden, why?  Because I guess I am ashamed of that memory now.

My granddad was from Poland, after suffering at the hands of the Nazi’s and then the Russians, his two older brothers were thrown into a Russian truck and never seen again, his sister then arranged for his escape to here in the UK.  We understand he was only 15 at the time, but when he got here he lied about his age so he could join the army to fight.  He never spoke much about his time during the war, although my Dad says he would cry uncontrollably when there was anything on the TV that showed the holocaust.

My Granddad lived about twenty miles away from where we live, at the time my parents didn’t drive and although my Granddad did, he didn’t own a car.  Therefore myself and my sister only saw him a few times a year, my parents would put us on the bus to Blidworth and my Nanna would meet us at the bus stop, we would spend the day with them and then they would put us back on the bus and send us home.

My Granddad was a real character, I remember he would always be in the end chair in their long living room, sat in front of the TV, with his dog Sam sat next to him.  That’s my main memory of my Granddad, because that was where I would find him everytime I went to visit.

Then one night when I was eight years old, my Dad got a phone call and I could sense that something wasn’t right.  A few frantic phone calls later, my Dad’s friend came to pick him up and my Mum came into my room to explain the situation.

My Granddad had suffered a heart attack during the day, he wasn’t well at all and wasn’t expected to make it through the night.  My Dad’s friend had taken him over to Mansfield to see him.

That night I remember through the tears, praying to God to save me Granddad, I didn’t want him to die.  My family weren’t religious, but still at that time we still learnt about God and Jesus in school, about the miracles they had carried out, so I prayed, between the tears I poured my heart out to God, to keep my Granddad alive, to make him well.

The next morning we got the news that I really didn’t want to hear, that my Granddad hadn’t made it through the night, the news that he had died hit me hard.  I remembered the prayers that I had made all through the night and decided that either I had done it wrong or there was no God.

Unfortunately my heart fell on the side of there was no God.  At eight years old your at that age where you begin to learn that all these things that your parents made you believe where real, really weren’t, there was no Santa, no tooth fairy, no bogeyman and no Easter bunny, so at that age coming with all these revelations that these things that were unseen weren’t real, then if God didn’t answer my prayer and couldn’t keep my Granddad alive, then He couldn’t be real either.  So for the next 30 years I carried that notion that God didn’t exist.

I know in Lacey’s book she has similar doubts at the death of her three year old cousin, who was murdered by his father, she simply stopped believing, reading this made me explore why I stopped too and as I suspected this was the night, back in February 1982.

When I spoke with Gareth that life changing Monday night, I said that this was one of the reasons why I stopped believing, that this prayer that went unanswered crushed any faith that I may have had.  I thought then that if there was a God, then I must have prayed wrongly, Gareth assured me there was no right or wrong way to pray.  That’s why when a woke the morning after I prayed for strength a few evenings later from that meeting, I knew that I had got it right this time and there was a God, who was there for me.

Last year I had to go through the deaths of my two Nanna’s, firstly on my Mum’s side and then just two months later my Dad’s Mother.  It was painful, but these were the first close death’s that I had experienced since my Granddad dying all those years before, back then I never went to the funeral, my parents didn’t want us to go through that, so these were the first two and only two funerals that I have been too.

I came to the conclusion that it was just their time, just like back then it was just my Granddad’s time.  His wartime experience in Poland left him with a number of ailments that troubled him throughout the rest of his life and he never stopped working down the mine at Blidworth, it was just his time to go.

It took an instant to stop believing, it then took a life changing moment to start believing.  I know that only that pain of realisation that my life was a mess and I had lost the one I loved,  brought me to my knees and a place where after looking down into the dirt for so long, that the only place left was to look up and find the light.

I buried the memories of that night over thirty two years ago, a painful memory and one that I have to say I am now ashamed of, but I feel the time is right to explore that memory, bring it out into the open and finally lay it to rest.

IN LOVING MEMORY by ALTER BRIDGE
Thanks for all you’ve done
I’ve missed you for so long
I can’t believe you’re gone
You still live in me
I feel you in the wind
You guide me constantly

I’ve never knew what it was to be alone, no
Cause you were always there for me
You were always there waiting
And ill come home and I miss your face so
Smiling down on me
I close my eyes to see

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me

I carry the things that remind me of you
In loving memory of
The one that was so true
Your were as kind as you could be
And even though you’re gone
You still mean the world to me

I’ve never knew what it was to be alone, no
Cause you were always there for me
You were always there waiting
But now I come home and it’s not the same, no
It feels empty and alone
I can’t believe you’re gone

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me

I’m glad he set you free from sorrow
I’ll still love you more tomorrow
And you will be here with me still

And what you did you did with feeling
And You always found the meaning
And you always will
And you always will
And you always will

Ooo’s

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me

Dealing With Death Once Again

Just seconds after my last post, I answered the phone to my Dad, he called to tell me my other Nanna had died this afternoon, just 8 weeks after my other Nanna passed away.

Needless to say the same feelings of numbness have descended again, I felt so up for everything earlier, now I don’t know how to feel again, I’m not sure I can go through all these feelings a second time, so soon after struggling with them before.

In a strange way when I left for work today, I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be too long until I received this news, but so soon and when I am so tired, I just pray I can stay strong enough to deal with this again.

I’ve been in tears again for the last ten minutes or so, even as I type this, I can see this being the norm for a few days again.

I prepared this lyric video for the Flyleaf song Mama, when my other Nanna passed away, so I post this song once again.

There’s something
I’m trying to tell you and
I’ve tried to tell you before and
Each time that I profess it
It just leaves me wanting more and
I think you are beautiful
And I’m proud of you
What I’m trying to say is
I love you
I love you
(Mama by Flyleaf)

The Most Sincere Of Thanks

Firstly, I would like to say the most sincere thank you for all your messages and prayers, they have been a light in a difficult time, I shed a tear reading each and everyone, just as I do now as I write this.

I will respond to each and every message, but as of this moment I am beyond exhaustion.

It’s been a long few days and today was be busy once again, I’ve thrown myself into helping at Church, preparing for a wonderful leadership conference yesterday. It started with a late night Thursday, it was almost 12.30am when I got home Friday morning.

Then as I was sat by the lake later that morning, I got the call from my mum, I understand my Nan passed away in her sleep at 3.45am that morning, she was 96 years old.

I was supposed to be working from home, as I had some drawings to do, but over night my daughter had been sick, note she had eaten a lot of the chocolate flap jack I had made on Thursday. As Victoria was working I agreed to look after her, we went in town first thing, then went to Church to help out with the preparations, it took my mind of it all by keeping me busy.

Apart from nipping home for some tea, I was there until after 9pm, before coming home to cry.

Yesterday was a long day too, starting at 8.30am and the conference beginning at 11am. I was on roving camera until the break at 1.30am, but I got to the point I was struggling to hold it up, my arms were shaking and my hands unsteady.

I broke down during the break, I cried alone, curled up in the AV booth, James had to come and talk with me, I was a bit of a wreck.

I switched to static camera in the afternoon session before being relieved for the final 45 minute session. I stumbled home around 6pm, I couldn’t help clear up I had nothing left, I had done my job, now I just wanted to cry.

I feel like I’ve let people down, that my work on the camera may not be great and possibly unusable, they are all good people and I’m sure that they won’t feel that way, but I still feel like I’ve let a lot of people down, I can’t shake that feeling at the moment and that was adding to my tears this morning.

Strange thing was last night I couldn’t cry, I was beyond tired and found myself irritable, shouting at the kids for the slightest of things.

To get to sleep I put on a song I discovered on Thursday, this song brought me a little peace and I fell asleep listening to it.

And all this time
I was blind
I couldn’t see, I couldn’t see
That Your love, is never earned
Oh, it’s free, it’s free
What am I fighting for
Is it for peace, is it for peace
How can I stop this war
Inside of me, inside of me
I will fall down, I will fall down
I will fall down, at Your feet
I’m trading this battle for peace
I’m trading this battle for peace

(Battle For Peace by Luminate)

I tried walking this morning, I just didn’t have the energy, I made it to the lake, but it was a stumbling walk a third of my normal speed, I tried to lift my head, but my chin just slumped to my chest every time, so I left it there, I haven’t got the energy to keep it up.

I’ve found myself very irritable and angry this morning, very angry with the slightest of things.

Church was hard, the message was from our Guest Speaker, Magnus Persson, from Sweden, his message was great and helped me a lot, I’ve downloaded the podcast to listen to tomorrow morning when I attempt to walk again, but I was a mess, I felt empty, all that I had in me was anger, anger at myself.

My Nanna was a good egg, she put everyone else before herself, she never asked for anything, but helped everyone else, you didn’t have to ask, she just did it.  At 96, I know it was just a matter of time, her time was coming close and God was ready to call her up to heaven, I’m sure that’s where she’s gone, they don’t put people like her in hell, therefore I have no problems with God, she doesn’t have to be in anymore pain, she free now.

I’m angry with myself, so angry.  She did everything for me when I was growing up, my parents both worked and I spent my holiday’s, my school dinner times and after school at her house, she did so much for me.  I was her youngest grandchild and I often felt her favourite, she treated me to things beyond what she did the other five grandchildren.

But I haven’t seen her in over four years, she’s been in a home for most of that time, I never went to visit, always the excuse I was too busy, but during my lost years when I spent most of my time doing nothing in my own front room, I still made the excuse I was too busy.  When I turned it all around last year, I made a promise to myself I would go and see her when I was “fixed”, but I never got round to it, still the excuses, I knew time was short and I wanted to a least see her one more time, to say goodbye and more importantly tell her I loved her, I’ve never told her that, now it’s too late.

I cried all these tears at Church this morning, my friends there were all so understanding, they all said the same thing, not to beat myself up about it, what’s done cannot be changed and my Nanna would want me to feel this way, she would want me to be happy.

I’m desperately trying to get over my anger, I know I need to get beyond it, but it’s not easy.

I saw my Mum and Dad this afternoon at karate, my Mum’s doing really well, I think she’s happy it’s over and Nanna’s free of any pain, I tried not to let her see how bad I was doing with it all, but I think they guessed but didn’t really say anything, they know when to leave me alone.  I got through karate and to be honest even though I was exhausted it gave me a bit of a second wind and a bit of a lift.

James has sent me some great messages of encouragement this evening, together with messages from Steve from our AV team, who I’ve worked with closely over the weekend, both have lifted my spirits further.

I’m fighting through this, it’s not been easy, when I’ve popped to the shop over the last few nights, I have to admit I’ve taken a good hard look at the bottles of wine on offer, then come to my senses, shook myself and walked on, it’s stupid I know, but I was tempted to ease my pain, but I fought it and I’m actually proud of myself for doing so.

Back to work tomorrow and I should find out when the funeral is, the sooner rather than later to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m ready for any comments from family about not going to see her, I have no excuses really, time to be honest and admit to them the full story, I don’t think they know, my Mum won’t have told them, she wouldn’t want them to know she has an alcoholic for a Son, so the sooner it’s all over the better, then we can all move on.

NUMB!

I’ve just received a call I dreaded for a while, the peace of the lake was shattered this morning, my Mum called me to tell me my Nanna, her Mum had passed away this morning.

I feel so numb, I’ve cried so much this week already, I don’t know where these tears keep coming from.