Just Some Reflections

Oh I am sad today.

Just sad that my son, Sam, is gone – I have been pondering permanence and finality and it just seems that the sheer unfixable nature of this one event has re-made our entire world and I feel somewhat adrift in it. None of us really have our bearings at the moment so we are just getting on, the best we can.

I wonder if my heart is possibly more fragile than I can articulate or even feel? But it also feels like there is some kind of protective layer around it preventing me from feeling the full force of Sam’s death. 

I wonder if I haven’t yet felt the full ‘wumph’ of this. Maybe I have… What would that imply?…

I seem to be able to get on with work ok and get jobs done. I can operate at a fairly healthy level (even with Covid), but the ever lurking thought that occupies my mind is ‘gone’…

Gone… for ever…

So many things in life are fixable – and that’s something I am good at – fixing broken stuff – but I can’t do anything with this situation except try to step into it and accept that this is now part of our journey in life and we will find our way… somehow. I know I want to do that well and allow it to form me in whatever ways it may. (Let’s at least get some good out of it.)

A week back in church we sang that song ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord’ iand we repeated the lines ‘you give and take away’ many times. I wonder if people really think that God gives and takes away children? I certainly don’t think God took Sam away as part of a bigger plan. I find that idea abhorrent – to think that God would actually take a life to teach a bigger lesson or to create a ‘learning opportunity’?…

Not a God I could devote my life to – that’s for sure. And perhaps I am messing with some people’s perspectives on who God is, his sovereignty and the like, but without doing any theological gymnastics whatsoever it is impossible to reconcile the God I know in Jesus, with a God who orchestrates all kinds of tragedies as part of a greater ‘grand plan’.

Whatever the theological ramifications, the simple daily reality is an acknowledgement that the man who is my son is not coming home again, ever. I feel the poem I wrote a couple of posts back articulates what I am sad about better than I can do here, but we are now a week out from the funeral, family have gone home and we have settled back into a level of normal.

Certainly on the surface my life looks quite un-rattled by everything – I have work to keep me busy, I have an exercise schedule I am trying to stick to, despite covid challenges and I naturally look ahead at what the rest of the year holds. We were going to do some interim pastoral work for Marg River Baptist, but we withdrew from that following Sam’s death. Not knowing exactly how things would play out for us it seemed unwise to take a role that involved some significant responsibility while we see how the dust settles on our life minus Sam. We hope to keep doing some teaching in the country churches as we are able, while trying to keep aware of what is happening in the grief process.

It’s a an unusually warm autumn day outside. I cut thru my work in record time this morning, so I was able to go for a SUP paddle in the most stunning blue water, before coming home for a quiet afternoon of reading or whatever I am able to do with covid. It’s hard not to feel like life is wonderful (on one hand), but then on the other it is in ruins.

That’s kinda where it’s at. We have been supported beyond what I could imagine, which has been beautiful, but we face the challenge of easing back into daily realities and discovering a ‘new normal’ for our family life.

10 thoughts on “Just Some Reflections

  1. At a time when for many of us, we find ourselves thinking and saying
    “There are no words “
    You manage to find some of the deepest and beautifully raw expressions that help us all,
    Thankyou Hamo for not hiding when we all would have understood if you did
    Its a honour to know you
    Lynn B

  2. The very blunt reality is there are too many and not enough sign posts along the way that acknowledge Sam is gone. My brother has a wedding anniversary this Monday. Is it still an anniversary? Does he acknowledge it and ignore the voice in his head saying ignore it she’s gone stop honoring the dead? There are no easy answers or straight forward paths to take.

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  4. Hamo, thanks for sharing about this. I came across your post via Steve MacAlpine and I appreciate your openness and skill in articulating your grief for Sam. Everyone’s journey is different and I’m not usually one to share, but the timing for me is singular. As a random on the Internet please take the following as an attempt at solidarity/empathy rather than a prescriptive ‘you should grieve like this’.

    Today is 5 years since our daughter Hannah Grace died. For us this starts the Festival of the Schmoo which was our pet name for her, which finishes on Saturday when we’ll celebrate what would’ve been her 15th birthday.

    As a family we’ll look at photos and videos of her, share stories, laugh about silly stuff she did, shed tears for how much we still miss her, and wonder what she would’ve been like if she was still here. We’ll wonder why she lived as long as she did and yet went too soon and whether we could’ve done things differently about her care especially at the end as she was never a stranger to medicos and hospitals.

    Mostly though we’ll be thankful for the years we did have with her, grateful to a God who gave us the years we had with her, even as we still don’t understand why that was cut short. Perhaps like Job we’d be struck dumb by God’s ‘explanation’, perhaps (and this is my hope) it just wont matter when we see her again.

  5. Somehow, despite having never met you personally – or Sam, for that matter – my heart hurts strongly for your loss. Years of engaging with your heart, even only online, will do that, I guess. Your poem was such a tremendous expression of your loss. I wonder if I could function or express myself as well. Thank you so much for allowing us into your world and heart, and we do mourn with you.

  6. Wow…so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine but “sad” (a poor approximation of what you must feel) seems like a normal, healthy state at this point–and at many future points.

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