Death

I’ll Miss You Uncle Clifford

Yesterday, one of my most treasured members of my church family was laid to rest.  When I learned of his death on an afternoon in December, I was devastated, mainly because I missed out on the opportunity to visit him when he was sick.  The fault was no one’s but mine.  I should have made the time to visit him and speak to him when I had the chance, but now I won’t have that chance again – not until Jesus returns that is.

Uncle Clifford was a very special individual.  He was one of the people I would always make an effort to seek out and say hello when I came to church on Sabbath.  If he didn’t see me, I know that he would ask my mum, “How are my daughters?” inquiring about both me and my sister.  He was someone who would always remember you and genuinely cared about how you were.

Seeing Uncle Clifford never failed to put a smile on my face.  I always looked forward to seeing him, greeted by his grin, warming presence and always a “Hello darling” in his distinct Jamaican tongue.  There was also always a hug and kiss on the cheek waiting for me.  Knowing that I’m not going to hear that treasured greeting again or see his smiling face on Sabbath brings great sadness to my heart, as I know that church will never feel the same again.  Having to see someone else sitting in his spot next to Uncle Jim will be a strange sight for me.

I also enjoyed seeing Uncle Clifford sitting with Uncle Jim at the church’s soup kitchen on Tuesday evenings.  Having the opportunity to see him there in the week made coming to the soup kitchen even better, as I was treated to his trademark greeting and some conversation.

His strength continued through and through, not complaining about any pain or illness he was in, which is a quality I truly admire.  He was always caring and considerate, offering me and my mum lifts home on a number of occasions.  Uncle Clifford would always want to ensure you were safe, well and happy, doing what he could to make it happen.

The moment I heard of his passing, I knew that I was going to miss him, but at his funeral yesterday, it hit me just how much I was going to miss his presence in my life.  Uncle Clifford was a simple, constant figure who brought joy to my days, but I don’t think he realised the impact he had on my life by just being who he was.  I’m glad he’s at peace now and I’m looking forward to seeing him again on that day when Jesus comes.  I love you always Uncle Clifford.

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A Letter to My Grandad

Grandad,

I can’t believe it’s been a year since you passed, time flies by so fast, yet it still feels surreal.  I don’t see you anymore and you’re not here, buried how many feet down in the ground; but it feels like you should still be here.  Not seeing you feels wrong.

Going to your house, it’s weird not having you greet me at the door with one of your famous lines or watch you slowly descending down the stairs.  It’s sad not seeing you at church on a Sabbath and not hearing from you on my birthday wasn’t nice.  In fact, not being able to tell you happy birthday wasn’t nice either – August is our month and it’s a whole lot emptier without you.

There are times when sitting there thinking about you, suddenly remembering that you’re gone, can bring me to tears.  However, there are times when those thoughts bring a smile to my face, as I remember all the good memories I have of you.  Simple little things I took for granted are no longer the same and I wish I could hear another one of your Burton jokes again – you genuinely did make me laugh.

I still miss you so much grandad, a whole twelve months later, and I still want you to come back.  The pain isn’t so raw, but I don’t think my heart will ever fully recover from having you taken away.  There was still so much more for us to say, so much more time for us to spend together and a whole lot more for me to learn from you.  I keep thinking about the joke you told me about Job’s daughters, which you never finished and I never heard the end of, which saddens me more than I can describe.

Grandad, you were my inspiration and my hero, one of the people I looked up to most in the world.  I just hope I can make you proud and continue your legacy, because you were the most humble, loving, genuinely caring, considerate individual I ever knew.  I can’t wait to see you again.

Love you with all my heart.

Shan-Shan

Not Caring to Live

“Let’s stay in our bed and die.”

“I want to lay down and die.”

Just two of the selection of things I casually say without thinking, not really wanting to die, but not caring to live either.  I guess I need to be careful about making these sorts of comments, because one day God will make my words a reality and I’ll have breathed my last breath.

I don’t like life though and I find myself constantly tiring of it, no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I fight to stay positive.  It’s a frustrating battle, where I usually feel like the loser, watching so many others on the winning side.

I know it’s not good, because life is a gift and I’m here when so many others aren’t, but I can’t help wondering how much I’m really contributing.  I feel that I have a purpose, yet I’m not fully living up to it and that my attempts to make a difference are not making any real impact.  So often I want to give up, but I know it’s not the right thing to do, so I keep pressing on, and on, and on.

Some days are better than others, when I’m rearing to go and ready to conquer whatever tasks lay ahead of me.  However, there are so many down days and dark moments, when I want to cry, do nothing and sleep forever.  Sadness overwhelms me and I question, “What am I doing?”  Ostracising myself from others seems like the only option and no matter how much I attempt to talk myself around, the negative thoughts keep batting me down.

Wondering if I suffer from depression, but I have no idea.  I know that my PMS brings on depressed feelings and self-harm has been my uphill struggle.  I know that I wrestle with confidence and I have incredibly low self-esteem, but being clinically depressed – I don’t know.

All I know is that I struggle to believe in myself and what I do.  I find it hard not to compare myself to others and feel inferior as I watch them reaching new heights.  I feel lonely, let-down and lacking.  I’m tired, wondering if my goals are worth working towards.  I feel a sense of hopelessness, doubting my dreams will ever come true.

Most of all, I feel horrible, because I don’t want to feel this way at all and I want to have faith in all God has in store for me.  I want to genuinely believe that He’ll make my dreams come true, have hope in all that He has for me and trust that all I ask for will come from Him.

Yet I can’t shake off that feeling of wanting to “lay down and die”…