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.

 

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.

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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.

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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

Of Broken Screens, Shattered Dreams And The Life Inbetween

A few weeks ago, I dropped my phone. This wasn’t the first time, this time my screen cracked in a not so interesting pattern.

I was a little sad, but given the situation at hand, it was the lesser evil. A little background: Ksena saw a swimming pool and sprinted towards it. Now, she has never jumped into a pool without adult supervision before, but I wasn’t about to find out if she would test that boundary. So I dropped everything in hand and followed her. Unfortunately my phone paid the price.

Side bar: if anyone knows where I can find the screen for a Huawei Honor 4c please let me know. You’ll have made my life so much easier. I have seen that there is a cracked screen wallpaper app, I don’t understand the rationale behind wanting a cracked screen. Perhaps a mosaic?

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Back to the story, a few weeks later here I am walking with a broken screen which initially irritated me but I’ve now learned to live with, then I meet one of my sister’s from another mama and she gives me much needed insight.

She said, at some point, we all learn to live with the dysfunctions in life.

It hit me hard because it was about more than just the phone. It was a simple life truth. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, the dysfunctions look different for different people, it can be death of a loved one, loss of a job, a shattered dream,  depression, end of a friendship or relationship, sickness… the truth is that the cracks in the screens of our lives can disoriented us and hurt us deeply. In fact, a week after I dropped the phone, a crack cut my finger. Man, that hurt. Such is life, sometimes the cracks hurt us deeply and leave a scar.

The definitive crack in my life was losing my dad. It hurt so bad. I wasn’t sure how I’d live without him. My seemingly picture perfect life had cracked and my heart was bleeding. I had so many dreams for us, he was supposed to walk me down the aisle the following year, we had just discussed marriage. I felt abandoned and alone. My dreams in a row had just been shattered. And now I had to dream again, if only I could find peace to fall asleep again.

Eventually, I learned to deal with the dysfunction. It became my new normal. It paralyzed me but eventually I found my feet again and started to move in the right direction. I knew it wouldn’t be the same but the journey was crucial.

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Clinging on to God was all that I knew and could do. Without Him I was lost. Without Him I was hopeless. I let Him carry me and I found rest and peace. His healing hand touched my broken heart and I experienced wholeness in the midst of a storm. Hallelujah!! I was able to dream again and slowly but surely the dreams are coming to pass.

He is faithful in the midst of the storm. Run to Him and experience His peace.

Blessings,

Bibi2be

I Couldn’t Save Him

I have been so overwhelmed by the love that I have received since I posted  5 years on… Grief. Acceptance. Life . Thank you!!

One of the things that I really struggled with the days following my dad passing away was the fact that I couldn’t save him. A part of me felt so worthless, hopeless and defeated. My Psychology degree in the making was not fireproof. I was not a hero with a big ‘S’ on my chest. I was a broken, disappointed, confused victim in this story.

I prided myself in having a special relationship with my dad. I loved him so much. I thought that I would always be prepared for the day he died. Boy, was I extremely far from the truth. Death has a way sneaking up on you and knocking the wind out of your chest; then as you choke on the ground, it slowly but surely yanks away the physical presence of the one that you love . And you lay there, powerless. 

The days leading up to his death, we would talk and I could see the hopelessness in his eyes. We talked and prayed together but it wasn’t enough. He needed someone to save him. I was not his savior. The truth is, nothing I could have done would ever have been enough to save him. I am not Jesus!

I am not Jesus! 

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I feel like I should say it again, I am not Jesus!!  Oh how I wish that the younger me understood this after dad died. I spent so many day moaning and mourning the fact that I had failed to stop it (as if I had a set of super powers only known to me.)I battled with feelings of guilt, a paralysis in my heart, I was afraid to ever walk with someone in the valley of depression. I doubted myself and my education, to an extent that I wasn’t sure I wanted to practice anytime soon. I was devastated.

I had prayed, I had cried, I had tried but it still was not enough. Only Jesus could save dad. My words and advice were good but not enough to do the work that only Jesus could.

Jesus did it at the cross. Because He died, I live. He is the perfect savior.

If you don’t know Jesus as your personal savior, my prayer is that you would heed His call today. Behold He stands at the door of your heart knocking, if you hear His voice, do let Him in. If you would like to please pray this prayer and believe in your heart.

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If you have prayed this prayer and accepted Jesus as your personal savior, Congratulations!! Please send me an email via ess@bibi2be.com and we can walk together.

For those walking with people in the valley of depression I pray that you will realize that there is only so much that you can do. Encourage them , love on them and lead them to Jesus, our savior. Only He can save them from the depths of the grave.

For those who have loved and lost, I pray that the Lord will continue to comfort you. I pray that this truth will enable you to forgive yourself. That you will let go of the guilt that has haunted you for weeks and walk free. You did your best, and it was enough.

Blessings,

Bibi2be

5 Years On: Grief. Acceptance. Life

First off, THERE IS A GOD!!!

I would not be here without Him. I literally owe all that I am to Him. He lifted me from the depths of the grave, revived the dead parts of my being, gave me His peace and fiercely loved on me.

Jesus, I want the whole world to know that you are my God. You did it for me.

This is one of those posts that is extremely close to my heart. Five years ago, my world came to stand still. I experienced heart break, pain that I can’t quantify. My world as I knew it forever changed. It changed me, it killed a part of me but the Lord revived me.

Grief

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16th April 2011, the reality of depression that had been looming for years finally set a definitive mark. My dad committed suicide. My world stopped. This was never part of the plan (or list of possible scenarios) but it became my reality. My cup to bear. My world shattered into a million little pieces.

This was an unanswered prayer gone wrong. Images of his lifeless body replayed in my mind for a long time.

For months, I oscillated between numbness and feeling too intensely that I thought I would die. I literally thought that the grief would consume me. For a moment there, it did.

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I was angry, disappointed, ashamed (you don’t realize how much stigma comes with suicide.) Sometimes the loudest condemning voices come from within. I felt like I had failed to save him. I should have seen it coming. Here I was pursuing a degree in Psychology yet I wasn’t able to intervene.

Acceptance

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I can sing, I can smile, I’m alive. Things are not the same but it’s okay.

I’m so humbled that God has given me precious souls to walk this journey called life with.

My husband, Peter, remains one of my greatest support systems. He has been a rock. For months he held me as fear, grief and a myriad of emotions made their way out of my system through tears. I would shake, it was a cry from my toes because my belly was not far enough. Grief had touched every fibre of me. It had wrecked me. But God healed me.

My oldest friend, Natasha, has been invaluable. She has understood triggers that make me sad and always reaches out, 5 years on. She understood it was more than just an event, it was a life changing one. She is a friend, sister and angel that God sent my way to remind me of His love.

My mum has held down the fort the last five years and been strong for everyone. Her strength and faith continue to amaze me. Her life is a testimony that there is a God and He holds all things together. When we are weak, He is strong and He commands His angels to carry us and guards us as the apple of His eye.

There are several other people whose support has been invaluable. God smiled on me when He placed them in my life. I can’t thank Him enough.

Life

Life-Goes

Life has gone on.

Watching  Peter play with Ksena has really made me miss dad. There are so many days I have wondered how he would have played with her. How our relationship would have been. But, I also know that he found rest. I say this carefully, but after watching depression eat him alive for tens of years, I do realize that there is nothing more that I could have done. I prayed, I encouraged, I hoped but the end came sooner than I anticipated in a way I would never have imagined. Depression and suicide are not fully understood. It’s easy to judge when it’s not hit close to home. When it is a reality it makes you question the things that you believe and whether you are really at peace.

For those who have loved and lost, I pray that the Lord will comfort you and strengthen you.

For those experiencing depression and thoughts of suicide.  I pray that the Lord will minister to you at this very moment, that He will speak to you, revive you and save you. May He surround you with angels to walk this journey with.

Blessings,

Bibi2be