Grief Undressed

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I am stilled filled with sorrow
At losing you.
The pain is always there,
Mostly suppressed but
Today my grief is undressed.

The years have flown by
And I’ve tried,
Really tried
To see a purpose,
Yet I remain deeply hurt.
I lost a brother and gained another
Within the space of a year:
My sister lost her first love
And God above –
I’m still angry, so angry.

How can I defend my belief
In an ever-loving God
And live with the memory?
It was truly a mystery,
Finding words to tell your boys.
Your death doesn’t sit easily with me
And yet I have to believe
That you are somewhere,
That there is more to life
Than we can see or know,
That there is somewhere we go.

My hope is that you can see
Your grown boys, their families,
That you are proud of them,
Of the fathers they’ve become.
Both are different and yet
Each has characteristics
That reminds me of you,
Of things you’d say and do.

I am older now than you can ever be
And still, I’m angry.
Rest well brother,
I must cover my grief once more:
Dress it in the respectability
Of hope,
In the continuity
Of life,
In the certainty
Of the life to be.

Copyright wordz2Go 7 Nov 2016

Dedicated to my lovely brother-in-law on his birthday.
He died from cancer age 32 in 1987.

1 Corinthians 13:12 “… Now I know in part, then I shall know fully…”

Tornado

Disconcertingly,
The rug is pulled from beneath your feet:
Life seems bittersweet.
Bewilderingly,
You’re upside down, sucked
Into the path of a tornado
Where you’re forced to go
Round and round,
Until you’re so dizzy you can’t think,
Or sleep
And every decision is too deep.

Life’s like that,
Ticking over nicely
Then …
Bam … it all begins to unravel
As you try to grapple
With the unfathomable.

Copyright wordz2Go Nov 2016
Matthew 6:25-27

Go forth …..

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I stood on holy ground,
Trod in the steps of early saints
On Lindisfarne,
Stood where the altar stood,
Marvelled at the rainbow arch
Stubbornly defeating the years,
Violence
And the harsh north eastern weather.
Mid-October with an icy wind
Keening across the site –
Picture the monks in open-toe sandals
Striding about, serving God
In a far-flung outpost of humanity
With just a single fire in the warming room
As a nod to bodily comforts.
The ghosts of the saints linger here
To welcome you
To what is still a house of God.
We may not praise in Latin
Yet we worship together
With all the saints above
And all the company of heaven;
They lead us still,
Their work not yet complete.
Crossing the causeway comfortably by car
I thought of them
Walking, carrying Cuthbert shoulder high
And doubted if I could have been
So committed.
They believed and because they believed
I believe today,
Brought up in a faith established
Long ago on a small island
Set in the North Sea.
Lindisfarne: long may you continue to lead
The faithful here on earth
And in heaven.

Copyright wordz2Go Oct 2016
Matthew 28:19

Ebb and Flow

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I wrote a name in the sand today
But the waves washed it away;
The ebb and flow of the sea
Mirroring life and loss.
Reach for the moon and the stars above,
Live out your dreams today,
Take that leap in the dark
You were meant to take
Before the waves stop play.

Life is too precious to wait
For the tides of time to abate;
The ebb and flow of time
Managing life and loss.
Live for today and enjoy yourself,
Be kind along the way,
Live a generous life,
A full life,
Pray you won’t get washed away.

Copyright wordz2Go Oct 2016
Psalm 31:14-15

Quick Sand

Life is fraught:
Caught between competing
Crises and priorities,
Parcelling out time slots,
Racing between
Goal-posts bedded in quick sand.
Personal aspirations
Based on an illusion
Of what could be achievable.
Happiness is an ever moving rainbow,
An impossible destination
Where the profoundly naive dwell
In exhausted confusion
Defeated by conflicting ideals
That only reveal
High levels of disconcertion.

Life is indeed fraught:
Shake off entangling expectations
Imposed by rules and regulations,
Dare to run against the flow
Look up not down,
Look out and around
Focus on what is good and true,
Stand proud
To find the real you.

Copyright wordz2Go Oct 2016
John 17: 16 NLT

Guardian Angel

Flying high in the sky,
Unrestrained,
No pain.
Soaring over mountain tops,
Bathed in God’s glory –
Relishing the worshipping
In a life we cannot see.
Now and then you’ll still your wings,
Hover a while
And smile into our lives.
We’ll shed a tear as you draw near –
Hear your voice,
See your face:
Two worlds collide,
Until you’re drawn back heaven-side,
Rising up on angel wings
To heights we cannot see,
And yet we’ll be,
Touched by your smile,
Warmed by your touch.
Love never leaves us,
It grows and passes on,
Flowing ceaselessly
Through our daughters and our sons.

Copyright wordz2Go Sept 2016
1 Corinthians 13: 12

Rainbows – 29th June, 2016

Mam’s Funeral:

The rain has lifted –
Leaving Wales with a lighter heart
Even though we’ve had to part
With Mam today.
It was both incredibly sad
And beautifully joyful;
Parting is inherently painful, yet,
There is joy in belief:

Because we love you,
Because we couldn’t bear to see you in so much pain,
Because it was your time
Ordained by God himself.
Because we’re promised that we will know you again.
God is good,
God is gracious,
God answered your prayers
Because He cares.
His capacity for love
Is unimaginable,
Empathy unfathomable:
Beyond our ability to understand,
The peace of God that falls on all
Who call
On the Lord.

Sustain us even when we deny You,
Strengthen us anew.
Grace is Yours to give
And ours to receive even though we grieve.
After every life-storm is the rainbow of hope and love
In God above,
Of a time beyond time,
Of a day beyond today
When all things will be made right
In Christ’s inestimable sight.

Rest now.
Sleep tight. X

Copyright wordz2Go July 2016
Ephesians 1:10

Who Do I Ring?

Who do I ring?

When I can’t remember a birthday date
And fate decrees I’m far too late
To send a card now.
Who will show me yet again
How to repair a trouser tear and steer
Me through the process?

Who will update me on family news,
And choose the choicest bits to amuse
Our conversation?
Who will smile as I enter the room
And assume
I’m whom she expected?

I’ve kept her last voice message,
An emotional hostage,
To help me bridge the gap.
To hear her voice
And rejoice in her choice
Of conversation starter.

Now and then I bathe in her sound
As I’ve found grief rebounds
When it’s totally unexpected.
When I’m driving home in the dark and the rain
I’ll still ring you Mam,
Again and again.

Copyright wordz2Go July 2016
1 Corinthians 13:11-12

Au Revoir

Driving home to bury you
Is the saddest journey ever.
Your image burns brightly in my mind the whole time
While the daylight gets darker and darker
Mirroring the turmoil inside.
Tumultuous, angry clouds rolling by
With every mile but
Multiple memories temporise the gloom.
Happy time memories,
Of holidays and youth
Before the pain, before age and infirmity.
It’s a strange feeling, deeply sad
And yet there is peace and comfort too
Because I know with absolute certainty
That you are safe,
That you are fully healed and pain free,
That you walk and run and smile,
That you are at peace.
We miss you now but we will meet again,
This I know,
This will carry me through tomorrow
As we walk down the chapel aisle
To say ‘au revoir ‘,
To celebrate all that you meant to us,
Good night,
Sleep tight. xx

Copyright wordzGo June 2016
1 Corinthians 13:11-12

The Viewing

I spoke with Dad tonight,
He’s had lots of visitors, family and friends,
The love never ends.
I’m grateful there’s support for him
When I can’t be near
But when I heard
Him say he was popping up to see Mam
The tears streamed down my face.
How brave.
It sounded like he was going upstairs
Not to a funeral home.
He feels so alone,
He hasn’t seen her in ten days
After nearly sixty three years of marriage
That’s a long time.
I’m not sure I can face viewing Mam,
Really not sure that I can.
Lord give me the strength and the grace
To face what I must,
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

Copyright wordz2Go June 2016
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7