Christmas 2009 was certainly an experience!
We woke at 8.30am, opened a couple presents, got ready for the day/ate breakfast/went to church, after church we went up to visit Mike’s Grave (It was a surprise to see how busy the Cemetary was! Makes total sense but we had never thought of that before now), went home/put the Christmas dinner in the oven/opened more presents, ate our Dinner, opened more presents, watched a movie, opened more presents… and we finally stopped opening presents at about 7.30pm?! Talk about talking our time!
It’s been an interesting day… I’m sure many of you experience similar experiences of Christmas… what a build up, then the day is over! Haha.
Laura shared a really sweet story with me last night before we went to bed. She told me she had a dream about Mike and it was the first time she dreamt of him.
“I was walking along our road to meet my friends, and Mike was with me. We got to the place I always meet my friends, where Saint Michael’s Church is on the right, and the park is on the left. I stopped to wait for my friends, but Mike kept walking down the road. I called out ‘I love you Mike’ … but he didn’t stop… He then turned back and called, ‘I love you too’… and continued on with his journey.”
Well, I know many of you have been wondering about my family and I this Christmas season… so I figured I would update you 🙂
“Christmas tree (check), presents (check), food (check)…” Anything missing?? Actually, No.
We went up to see Mike’s grave today and I have been wondering, “I wonder if they celebrate Christmas in Heaven”… I reckon they do actually. I miss Mike a lot, the whole family does… but, He is always going to be with us, and we WILL see him again. Everyone has been questioning how we will be this Christmas… we’ve had a number of phone calls already from friends and family saying they’re thinking of us… and yet again, we feel so blessed and humbled to have such wonderful friends. But, by God’s Grace, we’re enjoying the event! Yes ok, there are a number of presents missing from under the tree… but in all honesty, I don’t think we’re thinking about what is missing… I’m not. Mike isn’t missing.
Each year, I have asked God for something I can’t wrap, or put in a box. This year has been in a very strange way, is possibly the best year of my life. I have a family, who loves me heaps; I have an incredible Man in my life; the depth of Love, Kindness, Grace, and Genuineness that I have witnessed this year by my friends and the friends of my family has left me with no doubt that I am alone in this world. Weird statement right? I have so much to be thankful for. Very special memories and challenges. I have been so so blessed this year…
I could look at the Christmas tree and see what’s missing, but nothing is missing. I have it all, and my brother is in Heaven. Merry Christmas and I love you all heaps. Thank you xx
Today I am learning yet again the art of advice. It is definitely a very very tricky one to get right. I know I have failed so many friends and people on that, and for that I am really sorry.
May I suggest something, if you have not been through something before, don’t act like you know the answers. You don’t. I have experienced death but do I understand what it is like for someone else… NO! What do me and my family have to offer after going through it… other than a listening ear and a hug?? ALMOST NOTHING! We struggle to know what to say to people when they are grieving! why?! No two situations are the same. You and I can go through the exact same situation… but the dynamics involved can be COMPLETELY different!
How dare we be so ignorant and short-sighted? WE… and I do know “WE” because I speak for a number of people when I say this… struggle so so so much to be real and honest about our lives, feels, thoughts, and situations and all it takes is one statement to wreck it all for someone. It takes one word to trigger an intense battle with compartmentalization and masks. Depression in the mist of vulnerability is 100% interrelated! Fragility does become apart of who we are in the mist of a battle.
If you don’t like the way someone is responding or agree with it… like for example, they struggle to think about the future or be positive when they’re battling through the present… then I tell you STOP JUDGING. What the bloody heck would you know if you have not been through it or know exactly what this person is going through in light of ALL the dynamics one faces. Be very very very careful what you say to someone when you offer them advice or challenge them. Don’t get spiritual about it. Get practical and get along side that person. They are the expert of their own situation. NOT you. The other dangerous thing in times like this is you can completely destroy a relationship with someone, especially if you are not that close to them in the first place!!!!!
In due time, the advice you could possibility offer will become relevant and appropriate… but question yourself for goodness sake. Ask yourself, “What the heck do I know????” and get off the high horse in the mean time!
I’m sitting here in my living room, I like my living room at christmas… it’s really cosy… but making it more cozy is the fact that i have a 5kg cat sitting on me. I’m sitting cross-legged and this stupid cat of mine is sprawled across my stomach with its head on my arm and it’s paw drooping over my arm… writing is a bit of a mission! I can’t see the key board! haha… he knows he’s not allowed on the sofa other wise mum will kill him. so he’s learn to sit on me instead haha, as long as he’s happy! oh… and he’s a spitting image of Justin Lowe 😛
We had snow today!!! Dad and I went into a shop really quick and when we came out in a matter of 5 minutes there was a whole heap of fresh snow!
I wrapped up the christmas presents tonight. I have to stop buying presents!! I can’t help it!! I like spoiling the family… maybe i should get the cats a present this year haha. Dad jumped in the jacuzzi so he could enjoy the snow from the hot tub… Laura is busy as ever with her friends and mum is always at the lap top… must be this time of year!
In the last few days, in response to the confusion and frustration I’ve been feeling, my Grandma and my Man have been sharing with me about the confusion Mary (the mother of Jesus) went through in life too.
I’ve kind of been thinking, every single person in the bible went through some sort of period in their life where they had absolutely no idea what God was up to. Mary, Abraham, Naomi, Daniel, Jesus’s Disciples, Elijah, Job, Moses… but each one of them continued to put one foot in front of the other, making the decision to trust and follow… even if it really didn’t look like that on the outside.
Dad sent me the latest Kutless CD a couple weeks ago and I really like this section of one of the songs…
“Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing
I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do”
It seems to be the journey is a long and difficult one, one where the choice is constantly being renewed. I knew that, but in many ways, no matter how many times you hear following God and trust God is not an easy path… I feel like no amount of warning could have prepared me for it. I hear all the time God will never give me anything I can’t handle… but you know what I’ve discovered, God has no limits. No boundaries. In many ways, after everything that has happened in the last 4 years, I feel like I’m just living for the next thing to come along. Whats God going to throw in my path next?
Every day I’m faced with this decision to keep going. I told Fitz today, I’m ready to give up. What I mean by that I havent a clue. But I’m in a place where I don’t want anymore. Mentally and emotionally I want to walk away from everything in life. The only reason I’m still going, is far from self achievement. Far from drive, determination, self pity, or a defence/survival mechanism… my mind feels so numb sometimes and all I can FEEL is a gentle pull from God. One more step. One more foot in front of the other. It surprises me sometimes that God’s Grace even extends to what feels like Him saying “OK Akila, if you are not in the mood today, I will get you through it in my strength.” I wish I had the faith of those you see in the bible. Truth is, God is doing a lot of this living for me.
It’s official… I haven’t a clue what God is doing in my life. I don’t understand Him. I don’t know what to do because there are so many issues that are multi dependant on each other and I whether I do something or nothing about them… there are consequences. What is right? What is the right thing to do?
Does God care how I feel? That I want to move away from where I am now and be with family? What’s more important? Education or happiness?
We continually ask God “open doors, and close doors” … so why do some doors appear to be open and then get slammed on you as you try walking through it? What if what God could be saying… you disagree with way more than you agree with it?
As I wrote on Facebook “I have no idea what God is doing… or where He’s leading me. It seems the only thing I do know is whether I walk to the left or the right, I can’t move away from the centre of His will… but what on earth is it because I just don’t know what to do anymore…”
It’s been 19 weeks and 6 days, or, 4 months 2 weeks and 2 days since Mike died. It’s been an additional 3 weeks since I last saw my brother, the 11th or 12th of July.
What makes me really sad is, I can’t for the life of me remember when the last time I saw him was, what we did, what was said? I left to go back to the ship on the 12th of July, but I don’t think I said goodbye to Mike because he was at work… but I don’t know…
I think all this time the overall sadness and pain of Mike’s death, in all it’s dynamics, was fuelled with “I can’t believe Mike’s dead”… But last night I realised “Mike’s not coming back”… I know I’m entering another part of the grieving process and it’s all normal… but it doesn’t feel that way. I wish I could remember my last moments with Mike…