Sunday, 1 November 2015


It isn't often that I post something sad. But I really need to at the moment. You see, my dearest, funny, sweet, loving sister has died. Cancer crept in and finished her off in seven months flat. Although it was probably a lot longer than that. Cancer tends to be very quiet at the beginning, and by the end it is deafening.
What can I say? Sadness is exhausting. We are all exhausted. And yet, amongst all of this grief and red-eyed living, there is something else. You see, I really prayed that she would get better. Some days my belief was so strong that I could almost taste the healing, and feel the happiness it would bring. I prayed that she would be totally healed from cancer. That she would never be a victim to fear or anxiety ever again. That she would grow old bones.
But she didn't. She died.
That should make me angry, shouldn't it? That should make me enraged with the God I was praying to?
Well, I'm not angry or enraged.
I'm deeply sad but I'm not angry.
What has happened is that I have come to know God in a way that I never knew him before. I have spoken to him, virtually every minute of every day, for months and months.
I have discovered that he is funny. Smart. Fearfully honest. Extremely loving. He doesn't give a brass farthing for rules and regulations if they don't suit him. He would prefer a party full of drug addicts in a squat to a smart cocktail party with the elite. He doesn't like it when people are judgemental, and he hates it when we are 'holier than thou.' He can't STAND social injustice.
In short, he is daring, fearless and ridiculously loving.
So why would a God like that kill off a sister like mine?
Impossible. He simply couldn't.
And so I have to re-think my thoughts about God. He clearly isn't someone who will immediately heal someone. Because he didn't. I still don't know why. But what he did do was to push himself RIGHT INTO my life, so that I could no longer ignore his gentle whispers or constant encouragement. And he pushed himself right into my sister's life, what was left of it. There was no ignoring him. That was NOT an option.
My sister is not here any longer. So where is she?
She's with that God I was talking about. That daring, fearless and ridiculously loving God that I have come to know. And that knowledge makes me...happy.
I'm sad, so sad, that I won't be able to talk to her in her kitchen, or wander around her beautiful vegetable garden with her, and sit on that little seat at the end in the sun, and chat about all of our children. We have eight between us. Quite a feat. When I think that I won't see her again in my lifetime it feels utterly, utterly bloody awful.
But I can look ahead. To after that.
Yes, I'm one of those crazy nutters that believe in Heaven.
And I'm very, very glad I do. I just know that we WILL be together again. We WILL walk about in a vegetable garden one day, with a little seat at the end. We WILL chat about our children and laugh about stuff. We WILL live and live and live. And there won't be any cancer because God and cancer cannot live side by side. And there won't be any worry or anxiety because God and worry and anxiety cannot live side by side.
And so there isn't really any need to worry, is there?
But for the time being I will have my red eyes, and I will cry a lot, because I MISS her.
Who wouldn't? She was the best sister anyone could ever have. The best wife. The best mother. The best daughter. The best friend.
And after I have cried a lot, and some years have gone by, I won't be so sad. We won't be so sad.
And always, in all of that, we will know that we will see her again.
God IS good. It's just that we don't always get to know him because we are either too busy, or he just doesn't seem that relevant to our world. Only he is. Relevant. Vital. Real.  And now that I am beginning to know that, I know that he would NEVER take a life. He would only give one.
Thank God.


Vicus Scurra said...

love and peace

Expat mum said...

OMG - I am SO sorry. I just can't imagine. And she looks so much like you. I know from experience of grief there's nothing I can say to help you, which makes me even sadder. My thoughts are with you. x

Clippy Mat said...

I am so very sorry to read this; it's just awful. It's so sad and just wrong. You write so beautifully and I wish I had your faith but I seem to have recently lost mine. I am thinking of you and am sorry for your loss.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Thank you, you dear people. I need to post something cheery now, but in the meantime your comments are so kind and TREASURED... and Clippy, I think you're the same age as she would be...
( I've just visited your blog. Loved the post on getting older. VERY VERY true.)
big hugs all round. xxxxx

Barb said...

I cannot imagine your grief and loss. Hugs to you from Colorado.

Trish Burgess said...

I am so very sorry to hear about your dear sister. Grief is an exhausting emotion so I wish you much strength over the coming weeks and months. You write so eloquently about loss and faith.

Lovely to reconnect with you again xx

lisa said...

I had to come visit you. I saw that you visited my blog. I know how you feel, I lost my father in April of this year, to lung cancer, he was 69. He survived only 8 months, once he was diagnosed. I live in New York and he lived in Illinois, 14 hours away. I was able to fly out and spend the last week of his life with him. Sometimes I wish that I had not let life get in the way of going sooner. Then, I realize that no matter how much time you spend with the one you love, it would never be long enough.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am so sorry, you will miss her as long as you live, but you will have a big old party when you join her in heaven! The suffering of cancer is something I cannot understand, perhaps it is the people watching the suffering that hurts me the most, who knows how much the cancer victims feel.
I hope your good memories surround you like a warm quilt on a cold winters day.
Take your time and grieve...your sister sounds like a wonderful person:)
Thanks for leaving me a comment, I appreciate it:)

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Leilani Lee said...

Losing a loved one as you have can cause the relationship with God to intensify and grow stronger (even if one is angry/sad/etc at Him for not doing what we wanted or hoped) or go the other way (total rejection). I am glad that you have not lost your hope in the midst of the crushing grief. Hugs and prayers for you and your family

Ladybird World Mother said...

Thank you, thank you. So touched by all the words and kindness. Immeasurably healing. xxxx PS, I'll be back with some ridiculousness soon... in between the sadness, life throws up such fun, silly things. GOT to record them, or I'll forget, and that is a real shame. Hugs to all.

Tatersmama said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, and my heart aches for what you're going through. But I believe that I was MEANT to come here today - for one very simple reason. God led me.
Yesterday, my dear friend and co-worker passed away unexpectedly during lunch, and it has hit me hard. How could someone who was so funny and talkative and full of life, just mere minutes before, be simply... gone?
So your words have hit home - hit me right in the solar plexus - because I think God knows that I needed to read them. We all need to know that we're never alone. We have friends and family that love us and care... and foremost, we have God.

Shilpa Chandrasekheran said...

Peace !

Robynn's Ravings said...

How very long it's been since I've been here, or to any blog. But this night you crossed my mind and heart so clearly that I had to find you.

I see this happened almost a year ago and I am terribly sorry. Though your grief may not be as raw as it was when you wrote this I have no doubt it has carved a canyon in you. I lost my own sister when I was 12 and I still miss her very much.

But I, like you, know without doubt that she is alive and well and we WILL be reunited again. She was fun and funny and deep and incredibly compassionate and I still fight rage at those who were responsible. But she doesn't. And it's thinking about that that allows me to let go of making sense of the insensible. And I'm so very glad you have had God as your constant comfort and friend. He is mine as well and this post touched me more than nearly anything I've read in such a long time. I hope you write again and I will be checking back. Greetings from an old blogging friend in California and I send my heart across the miles.

Helen Garnett said...

Wow. Just arrived back on my blog after rather a long time, and Tatersmama and RR, just blown away by your comments. Isn't it amazing that across the miles and across the years, we've blogged and commented and become kind of friends?! So glad that I stumbled back into this blog again, and think I must write another post soon.
Both of you TAKE CARE. Much love xxxxxxxx