Baptism blessings

On Sunday 26th October, we baptised our 12-year-old daughter, 7-year-old son and 8-month-old baby. It feels remarkably comforting and joyful to say this.

It’s been cleansing for me too, as I fell away from my faith for a number of years. It seemed to heal the hurt that I’d experienced, to dissolve the anger I’d once had with Church.

The day started well as all the children were well! The baby had a sniffle but I’d been praying for us and the godparents to keep well amidst the endless rounds of seasonal colds and tummy bugs, so I was glad we were all okay.

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Celebration blues

I’ve not been blogging or networking much lately. I’ve been feeling run down, very low about Abi and generally snowed under with work and family life. I feel flat and pretty much overwhelmed as again we face more special occasions without our girl.

It’s particularly busy this weekend as it was my hubby’s 40th birthday yesterday and we are also having our children baptised… all three together … on Sunday. It should be a wonderful time of celebration and excitement, but when you’re living with loss, times like this turn into the bleakest of winter days.

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Gravity and grief

Last night, we watched the Hollywood blockbuster, Gravity, for the first time. It’s been out for ages but as parents who (now) never get time out to go to the cinema, we have to wait until it’s shown on Sky Movies. We were hooked from the start, and both watched it to the end without taking our eyes off the TV screen.
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Guest post: Returning to dust

My Great Loves is a blog I came across on WordPress Reader. This military wife and mother lost her darling first born son, ‘Gift’, age 12 in a tragic accident. She blogs anonymously about her ‘loves’ – her husband and children, her grief and family life. I have been moved by her touching honesty and the way she blogs about how her faith has been her strength. I find her faith inspiring and she kindly agreed to write something for me about how death is not the end.

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A brief encounter… of the heavenly kind?

Last year, I had an encounter at the cemetery that has never left me.

There have been a number of occasions when I’ve visited Abi’s memorial where I have felt a presence near me; a bit like you might feel when you think someone is behind you, but when you turn around you realise you’re alone. It either makes you shiver a bit or you shrug it off as imagined. But to me, it always feels pleasant, warming. I never thought I’d say that about being alone in a cemetery!

This particular day, I’d visited Abi alone as usual during the morning. I didn’t feel chatty, I felt depressed as though I’d woken with a large grey cloud above me. I was on the verge of tears and confused.

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Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

Often, during the week, a prayer, hymn, or Bible passage will be repeating in my mind. I feel this is no small coincidence as it often reflects or resolves something I’m brooding over.

When writing my blog posts the other day, the lyrics from this prayer/hymn (from my school days!), ‘to be understood as to understand’, came to mind and seemed to convey perfectly my need to write to understand how I’m feeling yet also to give the opportunity for my grief to be understood by others.

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Jesus wept

One of the shortest sentences in the Bible has had a great impact on me and shows us that, despite all that he knew, Jesus didn’t gloss over the harsh reality of grief:

‘Jesus wept.’ (John 11:35)

Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus, as He had arrived too late to save him, before He then resurrected him. He shared in the unquestionable sorrow and pain that Lazarus’s death brought to those closest to him. He understood that death is a sad thing, but, most importantly, he made it okay to grieve. He mourned with the mourners. Belief in eternal life isn’t all glorious, Jesus knew we had to die in order to be with the Father and he felt the sorrow of parting just as we do.

Four months on… what is grief anyway?

[This blog was taken from notes I’d written whilst sat with Abi at the cemetery around 10th June 2013.]

Four months on, is that right? Have I grieved? Have I even started…?

What is the point of all that crying if at the end I still feel such deep and painful sorrow? Crying usually releases a tension, helps me feel better. But these tears are different; they flow easily enough but the emotion changes from despair and hurt, to sadness and depression. I suppose, if I didn’t feel able to cry, rant, write or talk then I’d be in a very bad place by now. So, to grieve must be to let my emotions surface as I mourn my darling child, but it feels like that is all it is. There seems to be no benefit, no end to it. Yet, even still, I can see that recently I have been able to laugh sometimes, though not as sincerely as before; I can converse, can think, can function apparently normally.

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‘Rev’ – beliefs and dragonflies

We’ve been catching up with the comedy series, Rev.

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If you’ve not seen it before, the BBC series revolves around a Church of England priest called Adam, played by the talented and watchable Tom Hollander, who becomes the vicar of an inner-city London church after leaving a small rural Suffolk parish.

Last night, we watched an episode where the local church school is up for religious inspection and the headteacher, Ellie, is confident that they will pass with flying colours, thanks to the inspiring new teacher Mr Feld. The only problem for Adam is… he’s an atheist (albeit an ‘angry’ but popular and cool one).

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