Tag Archives: lost

P.S. I love you x

Dear Me,

Today your world changed. Today you lost your love, your future and your hope. I know exactly how you feel, I am you, just a few years down the track.

You are wondering if the pain will kill you … it won’t. It is the greatest ache you have ever felt, but it doesn’t actually kill you. Instead it hangs heavy inside your heart, reminding you minute-by-minute that part of you is missing. “Till death do us part” swirls around your mind’s eye… but you didn’t actually think it would happen. Not yet, not to you.

I know you are about to enter a bipolar-like state vacillating between deep pangs of grief and hyper activity to try and prove to your kids that it will be OK. It will all be futile. You will get very, very weak, you won’t like yourself for it. Here’s where I can help.

It really is going to be OK.

Not today, and probably not tomorrow either. But one day not too far away you will feel the sun on your skin, it will remind you of what happiness once felt like. Hold onto that, remember it, you are not going insane, you are just sad.

When you let the endless questioning give way you will find peace again. It’s hiding behind the anger that you won’t let go of. It’s blocked behind the blame game that has no end. You can’t create the peace you need, but it’s freely given when in surrender you pray for it.

When you are convinced God failed you, when your thoughts get carried away and think He is cruel beyond belief, remember it isn’t true. Remember you just can’t see it and you may never know why. When the plan shifts so far away from what you expected remember, it will be ok. One greater than you holds the original draft, His heart is for you not against you. He was and He is and He always has been the One who loves you. He is answering the cries of your heart you cannot put into prayers. He knows.

Take comfort in the fact that he isn’t suffering anymore. That in Heaven he is free from pain, from cancer and will one day meet you again. You can’t fathom that just yet, but lock it away in your heart as a truth, trust me, I know you. It will help.

One last thought … it was not your fault. There was nothing you could do to save him. I know that’s hard for you, but you overthink things, it just wasn’t within your control. You need to let that go. Don’t punish yourself by denying yourself life, love and freedom. It will not bring him back. In fact, the life you live can bring him honour if you choose it. That’s how you keep him alive in your heart, that’s how you can go on.

It really is going to be OK. Believe me I know.

P.S. I love you x

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“I am absolutely sure that not even death or life can separate us from God’s love. Not even angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers can separate us. Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can separate us. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love. That’s because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.” Romans 8:38-39 (NIRV)


Still Believing

I am speaking to my own heart today, I am telling it to listen carefully, don’t shut down heart, don’t tune out this time. I’m yet not sure it’s listening, but I’m giving it a go. It wants to shy away, to sit in the back, to not be noticed as it wonders why. Why?

Why?

A long time after grief began, I found a smile on my face and I felt a sigh. It was a deep, relief filled sigh that I had indeed found hope again. Stress and anxiety lifted slowly, gratefulness for this hope grew and a respect for life heightened.

But I forgot a very important fact… Life still goes on and it’s not all happy. It’s not always as it should be, grief returns, people get sick, and hard, hard days are still part of life. It’s as if there’s some arthritis from the wound, it’s healed, I can walk, but it left some decay behind. So when conditions aren’t right, I feel it again. Agony. Cancer shouldn’t be able to touch my loved ones again, but it does. The agony of losing should be a thing of the past, but it’s not. My heart should not have to feel this again, but that’s just not realistic. Life, the good and the bad still march on whether I am prepared for it or not.

But why? 

Is God still good?

Is He a carer of my soul?

Is He really all powerful?

Can I trust Him?

Does He really want the best for me?

Is He even listening?  

I’ve learnt to answer “Yes” and yes there is sickness and death and horrid things that should never happen. Yes it doesn’t seem fair (don’t even get me started on that one!). But I still believe it through pain and when it’s hard. Why?

Why?

It’s nothing to do with a survey, it’s not a feeling, but a discipline of belief I can be sure of. Doubt surfaces for sure, and many questions race around my brain but at the end of the day I know there’s a whisper inside that knows hope will still come around the corner. There is a “however” on the end of the sentence that invites my heart to know there is something more.

There is more to death than grief, there is an eternity spent pain free in a better place. There is another side to hard times as we pull together and unite around common concern. There is another side to loss if I choose it. I can choose to add new people, new family, new love…if I choose. It’s not what I imagined in the beginning but it’s still good if I choose it.

I know by now that there are many, many questions in life that cannot be answered, won’t be answered, I don’t like that. That those “why’s” are not answered how I would like them to be and some days are just plain hard. If I make my heart listen it might bleed. If I summon it out of the fog it will need to go through reality before it can see hope. I cannot hear the whisper if I ignore the reason for hearing it. I cannot feel the relief until I know the pain.

When I walk with a limp I protect my wound, my broken limb, my pain from the blows of the world. When my heart hurts I protect it too. I put on my brave face, I distract conversation away from the pain and I keep in the shallows away from the deep stirrings that probe too much. I still don’t like the pain. I’m still a person. So I’m trying “however” on the end of lifes’ sentences. However, the treatment might be good. However, we are loved. However, there is yet hope. I’m hoping God is there in the however, planted firmly in between the pain and the hope that lies beyond. I’m not looking for new answers to all the hard questions, I’m choosing to keep believing what I began believing before grief began.

I’m praying my and my loved ones hearts understand. Understand we are loved, understand we know it hurts and understand we are all in this together. I’m praying we hear the whispers of hope over the noise of the why’s.

I’m praying. 

Hope.

MI Rainbow blessings getty


Remember the Smiles

Sadness can alter your memory. It can trick you into believing the lie that suffering was all there was to living. It isn’t true. Amidst the suffering there was true life, the one were a joke was laughed at, a hand was held, or  “hey how are you” was shared. These small things in the everyday mattered, and still matter.

The end did not negate the years of holding his babies, of taking them to soccer, of kissing me goodnight, of the worst dad jokes possible or of just sitting together wherever we were…because the place didn’t matter.

Hope finds it hard to return if it has to fight through regret and guilt. They where the bookends that held me captive, torturing me with a continual reel to reel of all that was bad in the end days. The “what ifs” intertwining each chapter with nagging questions.

“What if I had prayed harder…”

“What if we had tried another doctor…”

“What if he had wanted to stay a bit more…”

“What if I had been more…”

Answer-less questions that feed guilt because they can’t be answered from the grave.  

Before the suffering I knew the answers. Yes he loved me and knew I loved him. Yes his kids were his greatest achievements and nothing could alter that. Yes he found joy in life, in nature, in his faith and those he loved.  They were unaltered memories. They didn’t have question marks.

I had added the question marks to the statements of his life. I had warped the looking-glass of my memory. I had forgotten the smiles and could only see his pain.

I needed to see hope again. To believe hope was possible. I remember falling to my knees on my bedroom floor, desperate to know that moving on was OK. Stuck between the holding on and the letting go. Only a decision away but uncertain if letting go would leave him behind.  I asked God to free my heart of the guilt and betrayal that pushed hope away. To let go of those unanswerable weights and open my life up to new possibilities…even if that was on my own.

I needed to understand that choosing to live was in fact what he had wanted, even though every pore oozed the contrary. I took small steps and made small decisions that supported hope until it became a habit. Grace filled the space guilt left behind and I was able to walk on. Hope grew into a new life because you can’t grow moving backwards.

Honouring those who have died doesn’t have to be sad, live the life they supported, be all you can be. Intertwine the best of them into who you are and go forward knowing they are always in your heart. Smiling …until you meet again.

my honey


Notes for my new husband…

Sometimes I get stuck and I forget.

I forget how special you are and how much I love being a part of us. Life gets busy and I get tired and it clouds my remembering. When it’s cloudy, a storm might just be around the corner. I don’t like storms. I don’t like hail, it hurts, it damages. I don’t like heavy rain, it floods, I might drown.

0ne day there was a storm.

I nearly drowned. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see sunshine, I couldn’t see through those clouds. I don’t like storms.  I lost a lot in that storm.  Not a house, not things, but I lost being a part of an us when the storm of cancer took my other half away. It destroyed me. Some things were lost forever; a father, a friend, a son, a brother, a husband. Gone.

Gone.

So, I don’t like storms, I get frightened. Frightened of the weather that might bring back the clouds. I can’t stop them, I can’t predict them, there’s no app for that. If I hear the hail I worry, if I feel the heavy rain I panic…what if it’s catastrophic? What if I am not enough? What if I can’t do it all? What if I don’t make it, don’t pray enough, don’t say the right thing … can’t save everyone?

I can’t breathe.

If I bury the worry, the panic, the fear so I can’t feel them, I can’t feel anything. It makes weathering the storms easier, but I can’t feel the sunshine. I don’t feel the warmth, the growth, the life. It stays dark. Really dark.

And that’s my choice. A really hard choice.

So sometimes I get stuck and I miss the important stuff. I miss the warmth in the touch of your hand or the life in your words “I love you”. I’m sorry I miss that. I know you will protect me if you can, I know you love me. Just remember that I still need to choose and if I seem stuck, look around for the clouds, I might be hiding. Just wait for me, I’ll try not to be too long.

I will come back into the sunshine.


The things I am now.

I am a single parent.

I am just Janene, no Janene and…

I am the payer of bills.

I am the keeper of my own secrets, not shared so much.

I am the decision maker for EVERYTHING…including toilets!

I am owner of a car stuck in my yard cause I don’t know how to make it go.

I am the owner of tools I cannot even name.

I am unsure what to do now.

When I lost my partner, I lost an actual partner. Shared decision making, shared responsibilities, shared love, shared frustrations, and shared fun all things of the past right now. I lost a good partner. But I think even when a partner is sick, sad or lacking somehow you still actually lose a part of yourself. Someone that you joined with for life vanishes from you, even if the vanishing began years before they died. Either way, life becomes something else, something you had never imagined. It becomes just me. It becomes just you.

So now I need to figure out who this “me” is. No one can do it for me. It just has to be done. Two things I know to do. One  is put one foot in front of the other and be open to the person I discover. To keep my eyes open and gingerly push on a door or two. Shyness and fear may try and hold me back. Why? Well that’s for another day!

Two is that I have a deep assurance that I am held by One greater than I am. I still have questions, less as time goes by, and some may never find answers. But my faith in God remains. I believe He restores, rebuilds and mends the broken. I am a candidate for all. What once flourished will do so again.

What do I do next?

Where do I go from here?

I don’t know, but at least I am willing to see.


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