When Grief Erupts

I watched the cursor lazily jog on the spot as I wondered what to type. As I stared, I could feel something shift within me, grief was rising. It felt like larva rising from the depths of the earth. A small trigger, a thought I had dwelt on, was causing a surge of emotions within. Trying to suppress the grief felt like trying to stop acid reflux from filling your mouth. It left both a burning sensation in my chest and a bitter taste in my mouth.

At 1pm I changed into my pajamas and retreated to bed. The ache of my heart triggered a feeling of malaise, I wanted to sleep the grief away. To wake up feeling fresh and happy like spring. Every time I tried to write, I typed sadness. A sadness that I felt guilty about having because it’s been over 5 years, 7 to be precise. After a few years is grief tempest in a teapot? Does grief have a lifespan? Does it ever completely go away? Or is it like the waves in the ocean, swayed by other factors?

As tears streamed down my cheeks, I allowed myself to feel all the emotions in their intensity. To go down memory lane and hold on to the memories that I didn’t want to fade away.

The Lord is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope. (Psalm 34:18)

 

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Ride To Heaven

Six years, three months and ten days ago my world came to a temporary standstill. The world was moving, but I was stuck. The clock was ticking, but I was fastened to the spot. Like a pendulum fastened to a branch, I would swing as the wind blew but my heart was stuck at the same place, at the point of grief. I was like a soldier in the army, mark timing, but thinking I was moving. My world shattered. I was heartbroken and I was selfish.

I read a blog post a few weeks ago that reminded me that parents are human too. I hadn’t viewed him as a human being. He was dad, my very own super human, not perfect, but he always had his strong face on even when his world was caving in. I wish I had seen his struggle for what it was, allowed myself to read in between the lines, and understood the circumstances, but I was too fixated on my own ideals.

Six years ago, I was a very selfish version of myself. As I grieved I thought about how my dad’s death affected me. But as life would have it, over the last six years, I have examined the situation from different angles. I was so upset that he wasn’t going to walk me down the aisle, especially since I had told him that I wanted to get married a few days before. It was my dream as a little girl to have him hold my hand and hand me over to my groom.

I remember our last hug, our last conversation, the way he called out my name, his laugh, his gaze, his gait and I miss him. I am tearing as I type this, but the tears are not as sad and bitter as they used to be. They are not hot angry tears, they are reflective tears. Tears that signify a longing that cannot be met. Tears that flow as peace floods my heart.

For weeks, I would dial his number out of habit. It took a while for me to stop drafting texts to him. When I finally deleted his number from my phone, I realized it was ingrained in my memory. He was absent in person but so present in my heart, I stored our moments, the things that I wanted to remember safely in a vault. The first couple of weeks, I saw his face when I slept. And then it faded, and I retrieved the happy memories and replayed them every time I thought of him.

A few weeks ago, my great-grandmother went to be with the Lord. She had lived to a ripe old age. My only regret is that she hadn’t met my little girls. The last time I was in Nairobi, we weren’t able to go and see her. We planned to go in August, but she didn’t make it to August.

‘Love now!’ is what I repeat to myself. There’s no day excursion to heaven. Once your time on earth expires, that is it. When a loved one goes to be with the Lord, they remain there, and you here, until your ride comes.

If wishes were horses, I would ride to heaven and give my daddy a hug, a big bear hug. Having been a mummy and gone through a few dark corridors, I realize, that it was so hard for him to be a dad when he felt like a skeleton on the inside. My hearts goes out to him. I wish I was able to be more, to understand more, to do more for Him. I miss him, some times more than others. From time to time I wonder how he’d play with my girlies, what his thoughts would be when he reads my manuscripts, I’d have loved to share my books with him. That’s water under the bridge.

Depression is hard. It’s dark. It’s lonely. It’s difficult trying to soar when you are tethered to the ground my the weight in your heart. Trying to be positive, when not even a glimmer of light illuminates within. Struggling to be strong for others because you are using all that you’ve got to hold on.

Today my heart goes out to those who are trying to be the best versions of themselves yet they feel like they are dying on the inside. To those who are clasping on straws, trying to stay afloat. To those who have been labelled and dejected. To those who are fighting monsters and battles unseen. To those who feel like there is no reason left to live. Today, I send you a ((big hug)). And I pray that as you read this, you will know that you are not alone. I pray that God will comfort you, reveal Himself to you and enable you to stand. How I pray that He will carry you through and out, in His time.

For those who are loving , please don’t give up on them. Encourage them and be present. Love now, hug now, because wishes are not horses, and it’s difficult to ride to heaven for a day. I pray that God will strengthen you and grant you patience and understanding.

Let’s all come in for a group hug, and purpose to love and be loved, till the ride to heaven arrives.

 

From The Mouth of Babes, God Speaks!

As I write this, I am hiding from the girls. I love them to bits, but today I am taking a small break, to write and also miss THE hour. You know, the hour when they fight sleep and end up being a little feisty.

About two weeks ago, I had one of those days when I was weary. I had given all that I had and was ready for bed but the babies had extra energy. I whispered to heaven, “Lord, does heaven deliver chocolate cake and hugs?”. Then I heard nothing. I’m not too sure what I was expecting to hear though. Though a direct delivery would have been heavenly, see what I did there? 🙂

There was no time to sit and sulk. The evening routine had to be done. The girls don’t care about my internal atmosphere, they just want mummy, to read them their bible and pray with them before bed. Speaking of bible reading, Ksena’s current favorite story is Jesus on the cross. She asks for it each and every day.  Initially I struggled with how to answer all her questions. I was not exactly sure how to simplify death and resurrection or how much her two year old mind would understand. But, I decided to tell her the truth, biblical truth and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. Mine is to sow seeds and pray that it lands on good soil, and the Lord, the gardener, will water the seeds and that they will grow. In this season, I have been increasingly grateful for the Holy Spirit. John 14 and 16 are dear to me.

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Look at me digress 🙂 That evening, after we’d read the story of Jesus on the cross, Ksena started singing. Mummy, “Hear Christ calling, ‘Come unto me, and I will give you rest.’ ” She sang it over and over again, and it got my attention. I heard loud and clear that the rest that my weary and somewhat empty soul needed was in God. I slept smiling that night. Exhausted but at peace.

I currently cannot get enough of this song. It is my prayer.

Acts 3 comes to mind and it reminds me that when the Spirit comes, you overflow. You cannot remain the same.

Eternity is but a heartbeat away ~ Cornelius Lindsey.

We were created to worship God. It won’t start when we die, it will be a continuation of what we have been doing here on earth. My prayer is that my life song, our life songs will be acceptable to Him.

Blessings,

Bibi2be

 

6 Years On: Grief, Life, Love

Oh my, time flies. It’s amazing how things change and some remain the same.

6 years ago, I didn’t know if I would ever be okay and not think about my dad every living moment. It sounds extreme, but I was heart broken. But time, and God,  they have a way of healing your heart. Over the years, the grief has changed. It has felt different and been different. During my last trip to the beach, I sat next to Ksena at the shore and the we played with the water. She enjoyed the little waves tickling her toes. When the waves got stronger she squealed with joy that the water was splashing on her back. Then out of nowhere, an innocent looking wave came, and it was bigger than we thought, but I yanked her up in time and we stared at the wave as it crashed.

Grief is like the ocean, sometimes your heart is calm, and then other times, when you least expect it, sorrow rocks up and is literally a wet blanket, and you have to leave. For some reason, the last couple of weeks, Ksena has been asking me about my dad. Both her grandpas went to be with the Lord, so she doesn’t quite understand the concept of grandpa. So we’ve had to talk about what happens when we die. I’m yet to find a simple way to explain the complexity that is death. Somewhere after one of our conversations, a wave, a mighty big wave hit me, and I felt a sadness and longing, and soon after a peace.

Life. Goes. On.

That’s what I wish I could tell myself 6 years ago. That the eyes that were filled with tears of sadness would one day be filled with tears of joy. My emotions have been confused. On one hand I’m remembering my dad 6 years on, and 8 days later, I am celebrating the milestone of Ky being 6 months old. They are both big things in my life that elicit a myriad of emotions.

But I read something a few days ago that really captured what my heart had been trying to articulate to my brain over and over.

no amount

Ain’t that the truth!

I use the term here achievement here loosely, because, I know that motherhood is not an achievement, it is stewardship, and I will be held accountable. My point is, being a mum fills my heart with joy but it doesn’t erase the pain, sadness of losing a parent. Each is a big deal, they both carry weight.

theres a time

The reality is that each day that passes we are closer to the grave. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. I don’t know much about the complexities of life, but I know this, that I don’t want to die with dreams and plans that I never executed. So I’m taking steps each day to ensure that I die empty, having done what the Lord placed me on earth to do.

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I am not alone! This is truth that I’ve had to remind myself over and over when in the depths of grief. Over the years I have realized that love is a doing word. It’s more than just an emotion or a phrase that is tossed around. It is an action. Love is present and not passive. God has been there.

I can attest to the fact that God’s love has carried me. My daily prayer is that I will understand His love, continually experience it and be made complete with the fullness of life and power that comes from Him.

Ephesians 3:18-19 New Living Translation (NLT)

18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

I”m currently listening to this song on replay. It’s my declaration.

6 years later, I say  Thank you Jesus for your love. Siyabonga. You know the depths of my heart, where it aches and longs, and I know that You are there. Right there in the stillness; and your peace and joy will replace the sadness that ebbs and flows.

He is the Father to the fatherless! My God. He is faithful. Forever.

Today I celebrate life! #DKM

Blessings,

Bibi2be

 

I Found Peace

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I struggle to hear these words in the face of adversity. All I want to scream back is  ”it is NOT well right now”.

You can imagine how many ‘it is wells’ I heard after dad died. I knew one day it would be well, but right there and then, life was many things apart from well. I needed space to feel the emotions but constantly received the ‘Be strong for….’ advice. So here I was stuck in between it not being well and exuding strength I lacked.  Quite a difficult balance to strike.

It’s easy to get sucked up in being strong for others and forget that you need to feel the emotions and be once in a while. Just because you hide the emotions does not mean that they are not there. One day they will come closer to the surface and you will be forced to deal with them (or stuff them deeper and repeat the cycle).

I’d found a way to be strong, I would avoid all conversations that required being real. So I literally avoided Peter, I’d want to be in the same space with him but avoid him. It’s quite ridiculous looking back, but he persevered.  Thank you ❤

A few weeks after the burial, I got to do something for myself, I went on a short road trip to a near by lake. Lake Oloiden.

There I made peace with myself, God and my dad.

I forgave myself for the things I thought I could have done or said better. Such sweet release. I felt free.

I was able to forgive my dad for leaving the way he did. I wept tears of bitterness, hurt, disappointment.  Forgiveness was necessary for me to move forward. Peace engulfed my heart.

I asked God to embrace me and comfort me. I released my negative emotions regarding the whole situation, God not saving him as I thought He would. I asked for His forgiveness. Then I received peace. Not as the world gives. His peace, His divinely sweet peace.

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I asked the Lord to be my father. I had just lost my physical representation of a father and there was a huge gap in my heart, in my life. This begun a beautiful adventure in my walk with Him. One of total surrender. Oh how I wish I had known Him as my ultimate father in every sense of the word when dad was alive. God is my father.

Dad’s death shook me to the core. It made me question many things including my existence and identity. But God. God SPOKE to me and LOVED on me. I am whole, I am loved, I am His.

After finding peace, I knew this is right where I wanted to get married. The scenery and presence were exactly what I wanted surrounding us as we exchanged our vows. He was there.

What is causing your heart turmoil?  Get away, lay your emotions on the table, take them to the cross and make peace with yourself, God and other parties involved.  The bitterness and unforgiveness could be what is holding your from living your best life now.

Have a blessed week ahead,

Bibi2be