What a rough nine months it’s been, probably longer if I take into account the build up to my father passing away.
23rd April 2019, the morning I unusually woke up early, just after sunrise and again unusually checked my phone to find over 30 missed calls from my mother, sister and brother, multiple texts. I knew the day I’d been dreading for over a decade had come. Unusually, again, I got back into bed and pulled the covers over my head.
It took me ages to get out of bed, to make the call to my mother, who kept saying “you need to come here, be with your family” and nothing more. It took me ages to get showered and dressed. Ages to walk from my home to my mothers, the silence was eerie, still, quiet. The rising sick feeling and shaking in my legs as I got closer to my mother’s home. Another call, which I ignored, to which my mother later explained was to ask if I was OK because I was talking so long.
I prayed so hard that God would fill me with his strength to by my mothers strength, to my brothers strength and my sisters strength. I did not want to show emotion, just strength.
The next few months are a bit of blur, a numbness had settled over me, people saying and doing kind things and me responding back in my usual smile, with reactions of confusion and sometimes “you seem really together for someone who’s lost her father”, me retorting with “what do you expect, me to do? fall on the floor and scream?” which is what I felt like doing sometimes.
We had no idea what needed to be done, the endless reams of forms that needed to be completed, the descions that needed to be made. The nonsense and insensitive comments that we’d politely have to listen too.
What helped was how we worked together as a team, I credit my brother who somehow, through his own grief pulled it all together, the paperwork, our fathers funeral.
It was during the first month of my father passing away that I decided to put a pause on blogging and podcasting, I knew grief would hit me at some point and when it did I needed to be present. And boy did it hit, like a furnace of fire.
My hair started to thin out, rashes on my skin started breaking out, loss of appetite and some days I could not even get out of bed without my body being heavy . My sleep was effected, and still is, my new normal (for now).
The strangest thing started to happen, friends who I thought would be there for me weren’t, I actually had to say “I’m not OK” for them to then contact me. I asked one friend who had lost her own father what advice she could give me and her words were “you have to find your own way though this Christine.”
I’d go to church for a holy experience, a peaceful experience and instead all I’d get was “how’s your mother doing?” when what I craved was “tell me Christine, how are you? Can I pray for you?”
But then I had three friends who texted me every week on how I was doing, friends who had busy lives themselves, one a mother of two toddlers, a friend who lives in Ibiza and a friend who kept telling me to be kind to myself. She would send me cards in the post about how much I was loved.
The pangs of loneliness soon started to fade as did my hurt. A newness started to follow, a new perspective, identity began to emerge. A new faith started to step forward, a new season. Nine months have passed now, time for a new baby to be birthed.
So I’m back, navigating my way in an ever evolving society. What’s really helped is when I have helped another, I, unknowingly started to gravitate towards the homeless, smiling at them as I walked by and saying hello, making conversation with them and sometimes sharing my food. Quite often I’d get a “God bless you” or a gaze of joy in their eyes. It felt good, it felt right. A knowingness started to emerge. Knowing that I was going through the natural cycle of life full of highs and lows and when at a low I could make a choices.
- Step back and retreat to comfort and not apologise for it – putting myself first helped me to realise the parts of me I had been neglecting
- Forgive the people who had hurt me – this gave me much freedom and healing, it reduced my migraines
- Praying – transformed my mind, which is work in progress to this day, brought me miracles in all shapes and sizes, new friends came into my life
I could give you the science behind the above but sometimes you don’t need science to justify yourself, you need a knowingness, you need acceptance, for yourself and life. If you’re reading this and going through a tough time in life, I dare you to go and be kind to someone else and see what happens. If you’re feeling really brave go and be kind to someone you don’t like or get on with!
So my message going forward is clear, resilience, how can you build it in your life and see, hear, experience the fruit, real, good honest and tasty fruit? I’m back on it, with clarity and teachings to bring happy change in this upside down world.