I think entering into Holy Week has placed me in a contemplative mood, so once again I am drawn to share with you something other than my home schooling adventures 🙂
I was one of two growing up.
Now I don’t mean one of two children. I had the gift of being part of a wonderful, loving and faith filled family which included my Dad, Mum and three beautiful older sisters. I speak of my younger brother David and I.
I was almost 3 when he arrived into our lives and my earliest, clear memory is of holding him for the first time and his face turning into a screwed up, screaming beetroot.
We were two peas in a pod. Dave and Ru the adventurous two. Siblings and best of friends.
Most of my memories of growing up are entwined with him and it is with great joy that I watch Sunshine and Master Luke playing just as we did.
10 years ago, on the 20th September 2001, David committed suicide, aged 15.
My world stopped…
He had been unwell for sometime and we had all watched him struggle with depression and drugs. But it had been my greatest fear growing up that I would lose him… and suddenly I was standing in my fear and it was real.
In that still, silent, pit of darkness I stood and screamed out at my Father in heaven… “I don’t believe!!!! I DON’T BELIEVE!”
In that broken, aching blackness a flicker of light appeared, like a dying ember flaring in the breeze, a voice came saying “but you do!”.
It was only a hint of whisper, so quiet that it could hardly be heard above my rage and sorrow… but I heard it… I could not ignore it and no matter where my grieving journey took me in the coming years… it was not silenced.
There is so much to this chapter of my life that I could touch on, but what I want to share with you is a fruit, a strength that came, slowly but surely, growing from the ashes of my old self.
Suicide is taboo for so many. Emotionally, culturally, spiritually… people are uncomfortable with the subject and are afraid of it. My parents in their unbelievable grief at losing their only son, opened their hearts and home to our community following David’s death. They did not hide in shame, or quake in fear of the evil that had entered our lives. They stood tall, broken, but leaning heavily on God, and spoke the truth.
It was truly amazing to see the response. People, especially all the young people who had known David, came to our home and learnt how to face death, how to grieve and how to support others who were suffering.
Honesty is hard. It hurts. It humbles. It disarms pride and welcomes reparation…
I have journeyed with this companion of Honesty for 10 years. Where before it was the alternative to lying, now it is a means of being. Every day I must be honest with God about my condition.
I AM a sinner.
I AM weak.
I AM unable to live one day on my own strength.
Are those easy things to type let alone admit? NO… but there is FREEDOM in those words! 🙂
I am not afraid any more of apologising to others, or admitting my inadequacies for a task. I am not afraid of my inabilities as a housewife or mother. If I talk to much, laugh to much, grumble to much, raise my voice, ignore, lie, gossip…. etc. etc. I am able to look it dead in the face and DO SOMETHING!!
I am a new creation in the Lord, but a creation that is constantly being moulded and formed into the image and likeness of a God of love. My honesty does not bring me down, or burden me with guilt, but opens my heart to the transforming mercy of the One who loves me!
The death of my brother was the end of an era.
I died the day I let go of his cold hand and watched the lid of his coffin being closed…
BUT I journeyed through the night, through the pain, through the emptiness and find myself now, more aware, more confident, more completely ME as I watch the glorious Sunrise!