I had first feed back with supervising minister last week. I read the OT reading and did first prayer and announced hymn. I did this kind of thing eight years ago, anyway I know I have to do this so I am open and willing and seeking to learn new things, experience God in new situations, so yesterday there was Communion at one church and a Baptism at the next. Opportunity for learning/ participating as much as possible? Unfortunately not observe and get into the moment my supervisor advised. So I did and I did get I the moment till two of his officiating elders decided to conduct loud conversation beside me on the chancel while the bread was being distributed so I was beamed right back from the upper room to the chancel in the church feeling annoyed and disgruntled ( not good at Communion) Feedback next week will be interesting. In contrast last night I was back at my attachment leading along with the minister, the service we have each year when the bereaved are invited and we remember and give thanks for all who have died in the preceding year. It's always a poignant service and was all the more so because one of the names I was reading out was my own Oldster who I miss more and more with every passing day. But it was a beautiful and moving and comforting service to all who were there and I managed to get through enabled by a strength beyond me. My supervising minister was keen to analyse my experience as a mourner asking would it affect the way I conduct funerals from now on. While I believe every life experience impacts on our ministry I hope I have always been sensitive and offfered best experience in my past conduct of funerals. In the wake of all I've gone through I've been sent courtesy of youngest and middle child to " recuperate " by the sea from the window of the hotel I can see Ailsa Craig and watch the planes taking off, so a few days R& R then back for real only problem is I've too much time to think so probably be blogging a bit!
Sunday, 21 October 2012
Started at my probationary placement today, which was strange as its a church I've done supply in many times, to be back as a "student" was odd. They were very welcoming to the extent that some f them hoped I'd be their locus when their present minister retires next year, very flattering for me! We did a short explanation as to why I'm there etc. but what most people commented on was the fact that I'm brunette now and I've always been blonde! So much for hanging on every word of my sermons!! It's strange to be back in a supervised role after being responsible for leaving worship solo for last six years. It was also first time I'd been back without my Oldster keeping me company so that was sad. Miss his company on my journeys:( meeting for feedback/planning etc. with supervisor this week, think we'll get on fine, and so the journey begins. A mixture of excitement that at last I'm up and running again tinged with sadness and loss, at the moment everything is veiled in a sadness that's almost tangible. I'm in the grip of a restlessness that I can't get to the root of , think I need to take to heart the scripture verse " Be still and know that I am God" meantime I've a Bible Study to organise on the first chapter of Mark for this Tuesday. Apart from that, had a monumental walk with youngest child and middle child, got lost and ended up walking from our village to the next town through the forest and Lucy the dogs dad having to come and collect us. Great walk though:)
Friday, 19 October 2012
It's only a week since we had my Octogenarians funeral service. There were many tears but there was also so much laughter in a wonderful fitting tr ibute to a man who was not only large in stature but larger than life. Lucy the dogs dad almost didn't manage to compose himself to give the tribute , the first time that's happened in quarter of a century in the ministry but my Oldster was a very special man. It's been quite a week. I've swapped my big wheelchair transporting car for a tiny Peugeot 107, I've visited my oldest child in London and thought a lot about the last few weeks, and how bereft I now feel. Nothing in my conduct of about 80 funerals and dealing with bereavement prepared me for just how bad I feel. Of how such a bereavement leaves you feeling isolated ( no one knows how you feel), physically exhausted, from the preceding weeks of physical care, inability to make even basic decisions and trying to get yourself together again and take up the reigns of life. I start my probationary placement this Sunday and was a bit hacked off when my supervising minister said " this will be a learning process for you" maybe so but am I wrong in thinking he was being crass and insensitive, this was someone I loved. Looking back over the last seven weeks in particular I know I could never have got through that time in my own strength I know at the times when I faltered God held me up and was there with us every minute of every day. I'm not a naturally still person, buti have discovered a stillness within from the hours I sat waiting with my Oldster. So in the bewilderment of bereavement I've achieved much this week ( the London Underground! Eek) changed cars ( need to remember I now have a hand brake and no speed limiter ) and I've been so supported not just by family and friends but also the brilliant district nurse and doctor who were our mainstays. Not through the woods yet but still standing.
Thursday, 11 October 2012
Almost a week has passed since my Old Man died and tomorrow we all join together to say our farewells. Lucy the dogs dad is giving the tribute. This is going to be one of the worst and saddest days. I miss him so much, having spent all of my time caring for him latterly and now there's a huge gap in my life. My supervising minister has told me not to start at my placement till the 21st but I need to know I can stand up in front of a congregation without bubbling like a baby so I'm doing the readings and intercessions this Sunday at my placement where I'm among people who know me (and knew my Oldster) I've so much time on my hands now but no inclination or ability to string coherent thoughts together. It was strange to have visit from one of the district nurses who nursed my Oldie ( his and my favourite) and to be on the receiving end of a pastoral visit instead of being the one doing the visit. We were so well looked after through his illness and now they are still being so supportive of me. So tomorrow looms and I'm not looking forward to it but he deserves the best send off so as he takes his final bow. I will be sad but so privileged to have shared so much with him.
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
It feels like I'm living life through a fog at the moment. Things just" happen ". The youngest child was remarking last night about the way Lucy the dogs dad and I talk about funerals we're conducting and said it just made her realise that we were dealing with families feeling how we feel on a regular basis. I know I'm learning so many lessons "first hand" as I go through this, experiencesthat i'll draw onin the future as personally ive not suffered a major bereavement for over thirty years when my dad died? The Old Man and I were inseparable and such was his level of dependence on me it's strange to have so much time on my hands. Time that I don't want and don't know what to do with. One of the district nurses (his favourite) popped in to see me yesterday which was just lovely and she was so in awe of how the Oldster and I managed and the sense of fun we managed to always have. I'm not in a great place and not looking forward to Friday I'm going to try not to let him down and be dignified but I'll probably be a bubbling wreck.
Monday, 8 October 2012
Have been overwhelmed by the letters e mails etc. offering condolences and sharing nod memories of myOld Man. So many residents of our town remember him from Sunday school where he was superintendent for over thirty years
In fact just before he died I told him someone had been asking after him saying she remembered him as her Sunday school teacher and he said what a wonderful thing to be remembered for. And what a wonderful legacy to leave behind. Seeds sown in young lives through years of faithful service to God. I am struggling with so many conflicting emotions and just feel totally wiped out is this normal, shouldn't I be rejoicing that he's been " called home" not feeling that at all. Am thankful for my family rallying round supporting me. Am supposed to start my placement this Sunday, can't see that happening. He was my encourager, best supporter, my adviser my confidante and the best friend I ever had he made me laugh he loved life and noemi rambling. Goodnight fellow bloggers
Friday, 5 October 2012
A paraphrase “
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something i must always remember. i am braver than i believe, stronger than i seem, and smarter than i think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. you'll always be with me”
So this morning at ten past six I sat and held my old mans hand as he passed from this life to the next. Although there's a profound sense of relief that his suffering is over I am numb with grief. I've sat by his bedside for these past weeks putting everything on hold to care for him as best as I could and now I feel lost. As he wanted it was just him and I at the end, no Marie Curie nurse last night as I kept him company through a long night. It was strange to deal with the undertaker as a mourner when usually we're colleagues. It was a traumatic morning making sure he was ready for when they came to take him away and much to my surprise, giving him a last shave as he would have been mortified at having two days stubble and waiting for his family to arrive.. There's now a whole week to wait till the funeral and I don't know what to do with myself. We were so blessed in the care we both received from our district nurses, Marie curie and GP who went the extra mile in their care and support of both of us. I know the start of my probationary placement awaits me a week on Sunday hopefully I will begin to refocus. So to my Dear Dear Friend, Godnight &God keep you in the hollow of His hand x
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
I am amazed that I am still here sitting by my Old Mans bedside how can the human body go on with no food, little fluid but with a heart that continues to beat. It was a very peaceful night. I was aware of a deep sense of peace. Apparently hearing is the last sense to go so I waited till I was settling down for the night before I took his earring I'd out I chatted to him and said goodnight fully expecting every time I woke up to find he'd stopped breathing, I've come to realise that our lives are very much in Gods time and He wills the span and the time, I'm supposed to take two services on Sunday doing pulpit supply at the church where I take up my probationary post hitherto following week, dilemma do I call them today and say I won't be able to take the services ( will I be in any state emotionally) don't know what to do but think I want to be at my own church receiving instead of ministering.
Monday, 1 October 2012
Have been on emotional roller coaster today it's a strange place to be " waiting" for someone to die hoping it will be soon yet dreading the inevitable pain that comes with separation. Birth is a messy process and unfortunately the end of life is sometimes not so straightforward. It's been a long journey for my dearest old friend but thankfully I can say I'm keeping him company. And so I pray that soon death will be behind him and he will be with The Lord with no more pain and no more suffering.