Same Place, different story.

Yesterday I went to a service at Manchester Cathedral. I knew it was around this time of year that I posted this blog post – https://vickmcq.com/2017/04/19/flawed/ in 2017, what I hadn’t realised was it was on exactly the same week! It’s almost as if God brought me back there at the same time of year to remind me of how far I have come and how much (of what I perceive as) a miracle has happened. If you’ve read the blog post from 2017 I was in such a bad place in my faith. I actually think I was at the lowest I have ever been, it doesn’t necessarily come across in the blog but I really was about to ditch the whole lot. I was in so much anguish I didn’t know how I could continue on with God and was fearful that my faith was over for good. I prayed that somehow by some way God would make it that I didn’t walk away from Him, but I couldn’t see anyway. I told Him my desire is to love Him and serve Him as best I can every single day and I truly never want to let Him go, but I couldn’t see a way ahead. I sat in the Cathedral and cried bitterly for quite some time. 2 years and almost to the day I am back in the Cathedral, and all I could think about was that day and how different the two days were.

Last time I was alone, this time with new people who have become dear friends. Last time bitter, fearful, and filled with grief fuelled sadness, this time laughing as I walked in the Cathedral, some how articulating hopefulness and heart bursting with love for God. This much I can tell you, I NEVER expected this. It was such a lovely time yesterday and I am so grateful. And if you are wondering, No I didn’t get ANY of the answers I asked God in 2017 and now they are not so important to me either. For God to give me the answers I require He would probably have to explain the whole universe and the whole of history leading up to this point, and my little brain couldn’t handle half a morsel of that. I did walk past the chair where I sat in 2017 and I gave it a little wink to physically acknowledge the difference between the 2 years.

There’s still loads going on for me with the house and I’m still struggling with grief to do with John and my sister but me and The Lord are tight. Long may it continue.

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Hoping.

Nearly wrote the title of this post as hopping, those of you who know the footprints poem joke about hopping will appreciate the irony. I don’t want to put the horse before the cart, but maybe, slightly, almost-ish, I might be starting to like my life again. Big development I know. A number of things have prompted this, and I’m also aware that there is still so much going on. Today has been such a mixture of emotions. Went to view a property and thought that it would be perfect for me, but don’t want to get my hopes up as haven’t sold my house so… but then I met one of my new friends from church and had a really good time, and I went out the other week with one of my friends from work. I feel like life is picking up a little, but I am also not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination. Best case scenario (Please God, let this be prophetic!…) I sell my house for a good price, buy the property I have seen this morning, go on a holiday once settled in, then come back ready to engage fully with life again, start looking for a new different job and crack on with my degree.  Life rarely goes the way we want it to but I’m hoping for a short time even at least it will do. Once I’m in my new property and settled crap can begin again but I’m in desperate need of something going my way at the minute, and new friends are definitely helping me at the moment. I truly didn’t realise how just how heartbreaking selling the house would be, I knew it would be hard but not quite this hard. I cried when someone put in an offer even though it was too low, and then I cried after seeing and loving the property I saw this morning. I think its why I’m so worn out at the minute. Grateful to be going and seeing an old friend tonight, and I’m hoping it will be uplifting. Part of me is desperate for the limbo I have been in since John passed away to be over, and I think that’s why I am so emotional, emotional that its finally might be coming to an end but emotional in a way that I am moving forward (not on, I could never move on from John). I have to trust God with all of this once again, cause the potential that everything could just to fall to the ground and I’m left without anything is the same real and visceral threat since the moment John passed away. Must go and get ready for this evening.

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Safe.

Therapy today stirred up so much in me, and maybe the whole week, being Mother’s day on Sunday has made me think about a lot of different things. Certainly, my therapist picked up on something bubbling away within me and traced some of my thoughts. On the way home I really started to look at my life and was just devastated by the last two years, and then I began to think of my life as a whole and how I have ended up where I am, and I just feel really crap about it. Swung by church and sat in my car outside it. I went through a period last year and earlier this year where I was sitting in my car outside church almost every day at some point be it early morning, late evenings, after work and randomly in the afternoons, but haven’t done it for a while so it felt a bit strange. I’ve had two panic attacks in the house when I have really cried recently and I thought I know I feel safe at church so if I go there and I cry it might not lead to a panic attack.  And sure enough, it didn’t and I cried a lot. I absolutely sobbed till I couldn’t sob anymore. It’s strange that I don’t feel safe in the house any longer. I knew it would change when my lodgers moved out, but this level of uncomfortableness really isn’t pleasant. I wonder if it is cause I am selling it and trying to let go? I don’t know. The only hope I have for my life is to trust God. There is literally nothing else. I’m tired of it seeming like there is this big blank space in front of me and I’m in desperate need of some direction and focus. Some people might desperately want a big blank space in front of them to do whatever they want and not have anything planned, that for some would be a relief and an opportunity, but for me, it isn’t. For me it’s scary, I’m pleading with the Lord to help me. Give me something. Something solid. Something that I can work towards that’s tangible, cause I honestly just feel adrift without a paddle. I’m not saying life was planned out in fine detail with John, however, it didn’t really matter then cause whatever came we were together and that’s what mattered. Now I’m alone it’s totally different. Lord, I can’t be adrift much longer, you got to do something, step in, speak, whatever, you know what it is. I’m begging.

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Overload.

I am tired, I feel like I’m always in my head, constantly trying to work everything out and even when I’m not doing that I’m thinking about everything deeply. I can’t seem to chill out. It’s wrecking my head. I need some fun, I need something else to think about and something else lighthearted to think about. I’m in desperate need of a really really good long laugh. I need a holiday. I need to get away so badly. And there’s just no way that is happening or even slightly anywhere in sight. I’m so tired of being sad and lonely. I need real consistent friendship and deep laughter like I’ve never needed it before… but who has the time for that? Maybe I’m just missing John without being able to articulate it in this way before. I know I’m holding on, trying to get to the next season or stage of my life or whatever terminology you want to use. It’s ridiculously hard at the minute, I honestly have no idea whether I’m coming or going in SO many different areas, my gosh. I just want all the things that are up in the air at the moment to be settled. Sometimes I have no idea who I am or what I want or like, or even think.  With that in mind… and I may regret this later but I feel I need to make some conscious decisions and cement somethings to somewhere about something somehow.  So here goes…(Take me or leave me). I am still a Christian and love The Lord more than I ever have and am more committed to Him and more serious about Him than any other time of my life. I worry about offending people most of the waking day. I believe Brexit is wrong and needs to be stopped. I enjoy driving but worry about the environmental impact. I can not do maths, not even timetables. I love 90’s pop music. I 100% reject Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory. I will always be a dog lover, no matter what. I do not like Coriander or any solid food that is red. Simon Baker is one of the most handsome people on the planet. I am still trying to make John proud and feel I am failing consistently. Nancy Carol is my favourite actress followed closely by Gillian Anderson. I’m trying to hold everything and everyone loosely. I want to have a favourite musical artist and a favourite paint artist but I don’t. I have no dress sense. I worry I am lazy. Blue is still my favourite colour. I am an affirming ally of the Christian LGBTQ+ community, who are my beautiful sisters and brothers in Christ. I love the seaside. Winter is no longer my favourite season, spring is. I do not want to be a poster girl for bereaved people or widows. I desire a daily fitness regime.  I am missing so many people from different times and places in my life that sometimes it makes me cry. I want to live more simply.  I worry I haven’t grieved my sister’s death properly. I cannot eat bread without butter on it. I’m addicted to liturgy.  I want to be kinder and gentler. I could watch detective series all day, every day. I am still seriously considering a monastic life despite the numerous monthly signs that suggest someday I should be ordained. I am going grey and I’m gonna go with it. I am no longer worried about changing my mind on things. My favourite saint is Saint Ignatius of Loyola who I sometimes talk to, and refer to him as Iggy.  I still hate putting the bins out and washing up.  I find swearing in context brings me relief. I’m always worried that I’m ungrateful. I have rejected dispensationalism.  I love romance. I have always wanted to take up ballroom dancing. I am worried about having regrets about the decisions I make. I still believe alcohol to be one of the evilest things on the planet.  I hate silent houses but I love silent churches. I want to be overly neat and tidy. Anglo-Catholic worship flicks my switches. I hate most fruit. I err on the side of escapism more often than not. I enjoy a good sing. Even though I don’t want to, I still believe everything happens for a reason. I love jewellery.

So now you know and so do I.

Till next time.

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All out.

A couple of months ago I was chatting to someone and I remarked that even when I feel I can cry no more still more tears come. However I have finally reached the stage where there are no more tears left. I feel like I’m gonna cry and nothing happens or the tiniest moisture appears in my eyes and then vanishes. I honestly didn’t think this was possible. I remarked to my therapist yesterday and she confirmed that sometimes one can cry so much the body can stop producing tears. It’s like it just says ‘enough’. My only reflection on this has been to think “wow… the tears ran out on the same day my savings ran out.” Now I have nothing to spend sadness wise or money wise. I knew the day was fast approaching when I would have to trust God completely financially, but I hadn’t thought about trusting him with my emotions. It’s so strange to feel like you are crying when there are no tears. Happened this morning in silent meditation, and it makes you think your emotions are not real cause there’s no evidence of the sadness. Crying can be such a release for me that thinking about clearing out the house and all Johns things without being able to cry is quite frightening. And if there’s one thing I don’t need more of it is fear. I’m trying and praying so hard not to be afraid when there are so many things to be afraid of. How can I live without John? How can I carry on? How can I live not being married anymore? How will I sell the house when I have no idea what I’m doing? What if the sale goes wrong? What if they find something wrong with the house and I don’t have the money to correct it for the sale? What if it sells and I haven’t found somewhere else to live? Where am I going to live? Where’s the best place? How am I going to live day to day when I don’t earn enough? I still don’t feel able to return to full time work but how will I survive financially? What do I even want to do now? Am I doing completely the wrong thing? Have I made a mess of everything? How can I not screw up my life? I’m praying that I would experience God’s perfect love, cause perfect love casts out fear. I have no other option than to trust God.

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Is this really happening?

Just signed the estate agents document for them to put the house on the market. Cried my eyes out. Sobbed through morning prayer and was glad I was alone doing it, that wasn’t nice for anyone to witness. Now feel empty, emotional and exhausted…its 9:09am. I know a house is a material object and inanimate, but it’s the fact John is not here and we are not doing this together. This is truly one of the hardest things I have ever done, ever. Heres where the secondary losses really kick in. Also, it will be 2 years since John died in 5 days and I feel once again like I just walked out of the hospital. Grateful for bereavement counselling today, pray for my therapist Y’all. She gonna need it.

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Under pressure

Tomorrow is the inquest into my sister’s death. It’s been 6 months since she passed away, and really it’s still hitting me. The last week has been horrible. The pressure I feel at the moment in particular is unlike any I’ve felt in my life, and I’ve been in some high pressured situations having run 2 businesses as well as lots of other crap in my life. This is pressure from nearly all sides of my life. John’s 2nd year anniversary is looming over me coming up the first week of Feb. I’m trying to sell my house to downside as I can’t afford it financially and to say I’m in pinch would be a little understated, trying to keep working when I really have no energy or concentration is one of the hardest fights I’m having, while trying to keep going and functioning as a normal human being with daily tasks. Add to that the grief of losing John and my sister in a relatively short space of time and the prospect of tomorrow’s events is exhausting. My body is aching under the weight of it all. My neck and my shoulder are in agonising pain. I can feel my face starting to tense again due to jaw tension. I don’t want it to be that I come to a place where life has kicked the stuffing out of me so much that I can’t recover but I’m certainly taking a beating at the minute. I’m trying so hard to not be scared and trust in God, this is the hardest battle. A good friend of my says “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” Easier said than done. Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You.

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