Four years – part 2.

So, four years in Ireland. I’m going to be honest in this one. It’s been hard for me. Chris has loved being here, but I’ve struggled a lot. I am going to talk about it, so if you sigh at this, just stop reading. But my dad died back in the UK, shortly after coming here and then I had to grieve by myself, here. On my own. Processing everything, by myself. Alongside everything else that’s been going on. Alright, not on my own, my immediate family are here. But no one else. And it’s funny how much a lot of people don’t want you to ever talk about this or be ‘unhappy’. Which actually makes grieving really hard and makes the process really hard and makes you mask how you really are. People often even ignore what you’re saying when you try and talk about it. I’m sorry if this seems condemning, it isn’t intended to be, I just want to be honest.

I’ve spoken before about grief and how strange it is, how you think you’re ok and then it punches you in the stomach and says, why hello! you thought I’d gone, now feel the pain. And it’s very difficult to know what to do sometimes.

I write to process, but because I don’t want to be subject to certain reactions or even none reactions, I haven’t been honest in the slightest. Since my dad died, I’ve struggled. I’ve had extreme lows frequently, I’ve cried a lot and that is still ongoing. I’ve got angry as a result and then other people have sometimes been in the firing line. I don’t go around in a miserable manner, or crying over everybody but I have actually been very, very, unhappy.

You see, I don’t know how to process grief really. I’m not sure if any of us do. But I seem to be bad at it. I’ve taken it to God and He seems to say the opposite to what others say. And when I say others, I mean people back in the UK. God seems to say, it’s fine. Grieve, feel it, stop covering it. No, you don’t have to pour out your own feelings on anybody and at anytime, but grieve. That doesn’t impinge on my plans.

You see, I have a problem with people feeling like you should be ‘over it’ and they seem to think this very quickly. And I’ve got something to say, and that something is stop.

You see, I’m sick of the hardline approach to this, people die, get over it, just trust God, It’s all in God’s hands.. and various variations to this. It doesn’t work. We are human, God made us human, with all the emotions that entails. And yes, we need to take thoughts captive and all that…but do you know what else… this can sometimes be confused with denying perfectly legitimate feelings that need to be thought and processed and worked through. It also leads to prayer.

I’m also sick of my own inbuilt thing that says to me, ‘why are you grieving like this? you don’t deserve to grieve like this? you weren’t even that good a daughter? and, other people have it far worse, why are you feeling like this?’ amongst other things, I think they are the thoughts that need taking captive. Not the actual grief.

Patience is a virtue…apparently…how strange that not many of us seem to possess much of it, or love.

Holy Spirit come.

Well, there you go, an outpouring from me. Inspired by someone else. Inappropriate? Appropriate? Condemning? Real? Truthful? Embarrassing? I have no idea, but I’m publishing it anyway. and yes, to all those who insist you count every blessing, yes, I am hugely blessed, and yes, I am also happy, which is a strange thing to admit amongst saying I’m very unhappy and sounds contradictory but isn’t really. It’s like everything, when you know God and things go wrong, it’s still terrible, but you do have his assurance and presence, so it’s sort of ok too, but not.

Sort of ok, ha, I’m really blasting down the evangelism route today…

So goodbye for now. Happier ones to follow!


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A Jesus follower who with her family are attempting (probably comically) to start a different type of life in a totally different place, but starting where we are and rolling with it and seeking God all the way, well trying to... #theshepherdsadventure

4 thoughts on “Four years – part 2.”

  1. Good morning Cathy, How I love your brutal honesty, it is so refreshing and I wish there more people like you.There is absolutely no need to feel embarrassed, condemned or anything like that, grief is so different for everyone and the assumption that it just goes away, is so not true.I lost my Step-dad (who I adored) in 1999, my Dad in 2001 (at Christmas no less) , my Mum (who was my rock, in the human sense) in 2003 and my Step-mum in 2006 and let me tell you, it’s been rough.I have had to deal with guilt as I couldn’t make it to my step-dad’s funeral as I was living in America and I had shingles and the airlines wouldn’t let me fly. The when my Dad died, my husband wouldn’t let me fly back for the funeral as I had only been to visit him a month earlier. I was here in the UK for my Mum as she is the reason I came back to the UK. And then when my step-mum died, I wasn’t able to say goodbye either as my brother robbed me of that and had her buried in an anonymous grave. Despite all this happening a number of years ago, believe me when I say that I still have times when waves of grief hit me, especially my Mum  and step-mum as we were so close and like best friends, confidants as well as mother and daughter, but also around this time of year, it hits me hard. I love Christmas for the true reason of Christmas but it is also a time when I miss all of my family the most and therefore is also the time when I struggle with grief the most. I know we / they cannot live on forever even though they do so in our hearts. I am not ashamed of it but I do confess to being quite private about it which is maybe why I am opening up to you as I know where you are coming from and fully understand, even though many others don’t. I just need to take that with a pinch of salt and not take it to heart!  I am not telling you this to get pity or have you feel sorry for me but i want you to know I am here for you if you need someone; we are never alone even though we certainly feel like it at times, but that too passes over time, even though it does return but we are human after all, and God gave us a heart and we all process things differently.Well, I think I’ve rambled on for long enough and I better quit before I start getting really emotional (I live on the edge of a waterfall as it is! :D)God Bless you and I truly mean it.Love Iris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love you Iris. You say I’m refreshing, well I think you are. You are full of love and it’s just so good to read your comments. Thank you so much. And I’m so sorry about your family. Thankyou for that. It really helped.


  2. Loss is a terribly difficult thing to process and you are to be applauded for looking it straight in the face! It is wrapped up with guilt, regret and much else. When my dad died I had a year of watching his decline as the health service struggled to work out what was wrong, and then another 9 horrible months watching him as we knew what was killing him. I don’t know that I have dealt with the emotion of it at all but I am glad to have had time, even if it was nasty and brutish, in which to let the inevitable “end” settle into me. But that same time also allowed me to build a strong wall around the hurt, after all if you’re busy “caring” for them; taking them to appointments and doing other essential everyday jobs, there is an expectation to put on a brave face. Additionally Dad was in denial about the whole show – he tragically grasped at a comment in one of the letters from the consultant and got the completely the wrong idea about his condition. This put a stop to any conversations that could have been therapeutic or helpful in any way.
    I spent a great deal of time after he died feeling numb and cross and doubtful. I asked questions of myself that I have found painful but useful. Deciding whether any of us have been good enough daughters is probably an activity worthy of no more time than it takes for an Autumn mist to burn away on a sunny day. Theologically none of us are up to the mark but thankfully, that doesn’t matter.
    “Pain is the price of love” I am told. For what it’s worth this is what I think: You loved him ergo you were a good daughter. So, keep processing the grief but set aside blame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Thank you so much for that. It’s so powerful to hear other people’s stories. And that was so clear. I can relate to your story from a nurse’s perspective as well as a private one. Having walked through it with people a few times. Love to you. And again, thank you x

      Liked by 1 person

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