GANEIDA'S KNOT.

Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Death - the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening. ~ Walter Scott


When a Celtic army went in to war every warrior put a stone on a cairn. If he survived the encounter he removed his stone. In this way the Celts were quickly & accurately able to calculate the number of their dead.


Life isn't permanent. Three score years & ten unless by reason of your strength they be fourscore. Do you ever think of the moment when life as you know it ends & the next life begins? Does it frighten you? Perhaps you don't think about it at all. Plenty don't. Ready or not Death is coming for each & every one of us, for some of us rather sooner than later. I know it will be an interruption. There will be stuff left unfinished: the washing up still in the sink; the poem half done; cats waiting to be fed...


Someone else will go round & catch up the scattered threads & tidy them away. If I am blessed it will be someone who loves me enough to forgive me the quirks & the mess; someone who knows me well enough to leave a timely note on my blog then collapse it completely; someone who knows me well enough to have Be thou my Vision played [& how would that be on the bagpipes?! ☺], the 23rd Psalm read & lots of contemplative silence. Probably need it after the bagpipes.


We have lost the art of walking through the Valley of the shadow. Death, for most of us, is not so well known as it used to be when people died at home far more often & far younger. We tuck our dying out of sight in nursing homes & hospitals & if they are lucky we visit them occasionally.


I have thought about this a bit, on & off, since my father died because the thing that struck me then, & strikes me now, is what use is our religion if it does not sustain us in moments like this? Either the promises are true or none of it is true. Either God is there for us in our extremity or He is not there at all. And if it is not true & God is not there for us then, then what have we been doing?


I came home alone after my father died, emotionally exhausted, not having had time to process any of the grief & as the mother of many with too many pressing needs at home to give a lot of thought to anything but the next thing that needed doing. What I desperately wanted more than anything else was quiet, my own room, my battered bible with pages missing & a chance to speak with the Lord. I opened, as I so often do, my bible randomly & my eyes immediately fell on this verse in psalms:


A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy habitation.


I felt so loved.


Hearing is the last sense to go. I hope that as I shuck of this mortal coil for the imperishable body the last thing I hear is someone with enough nonce about them to quote the promises that have sustained me for a lifetime: In my father's house there are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you that where I am you may be also...Surely goodness & mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ~ & I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


I've staked my life on the promises being true. I expect them to sustain me as I am wrenched through the very gates of Life. So


Do not stand at my grave & cry...
I am not there. I did not die. Mary Frye

17 comments:

alecat said...

I'm sorry about he loss of your father.
The need for preparation and care of our elderly parents is certainly an issue of contemplation, one that I began dwelling on some time ago.

seekingmyLord said...

Ganeida, did you write this with me in mind or are we just that in sync? My father-in-law, as you know is in a nursing home right now, one that is mostly for rehabilitation and short term stays, but his overall condition is worsening, slowly but surely... and even worse he is not saved.

I have been thinking about all the things you have written greatly the past two weeks, but I do not fear death as much as deteriorating health and our future health care system and the burden for my daughter caring for her aging parents, being the only child. I guess I just have been rather sad the last few days with things we have had to do because my in-laws cannot take care of things and the realization that one day this could be me and then my own daughter as well.

My mother-in-law always says: Don't get old. But what would be the alternative?

Ganeida said...

alecat: My mother has chosen a retirement village but it is not something I would choose for myself. Too noisy. ☺ I believe familes should stay together where possible.

Seeking: Funny you should say that...I was playing games on Facebook when I had the sudden urge that I should write on this ~ though being me less concerned with the practical than the emotional & spiritual! lol If we are the carers it is another chance to serve in a way that will please our Lord. If we are the cared for we have a chance to witness greatly to hs loving faithfulness. Either way...

The HoJo's said...

I was at a dear friends funeral on Tuesday and yes, I stood and wept, because it is what I do, and then I start to remember how much better off she is now and I learn to feel better about her and myself. As it should be.

xc

Ganeida said...

Hojos: I always weep too. It's what I do. Yet when I go I would like no weeping. How inconsistent is that? I will be home, sitting down to the Wedding Feast of the Lord & perfectly fine.

Mrs. C said...

I hope someone speaks words of comfort when my time comes, too!

Amanda said...

oh Ganeida, this post made me have to think about things I don't like thinking about. It was one of your deepest, and finest I believe.

I don't like thinking about death and dying. It is a deep-rooted fear of mine. One that I know He wants to deal with, and has been dealing with, in me, for a long time. I won't elaborate too much here, but I felt comfort in your words as I reached the end of the post. It was like a punch in the stomach then sweet loving release by the conclusion. No slur on you dear friend, just issues within me.

By the way, I couldn't believe you mentioned the part about a note on your blog, then it closing. I have often wondered about how will my friends know if I have died, because my husband is not at all familiar with my blog. He knows it exists but that is about it, and he is not computer savvy at all. I may have to speak to my daughter about this lol. But, I may say nothing and just go back to trying to be an ostrich with it's head in the sand, and pretend I never read this post :P LOL LOL ;)

love you my dear friend... you write such interesting posts xoxo

Sandra said...

I hope the promises are true for you. I had the thoughts about my mortality about three years ago. My thoughts turned in a different direction though. I thought about people going through the mess which is my life and cluck clucking. So I cleaned up. It lasted for awhile. I also drew up a will and put my wishes down on paper in a 'In the Event of My Demise' file. I felt better for doing it.

I am back, at least I think so. I have been blocked and I have been cranky. But the season is changing and with it, I think my mood. : )

kimba said...

I am having issues too as Mum's condition (Dementia) slowly gets worse. We won't be able to afford a Nursing Home and I don't like the thought of Respite as I think it would upset her. Sis can't really accept Mum's condition and expects higher functioning than Mum is capable of which causes agro between them. We really need prayer please.

Ganeida said...

MrsC: I'm not good with *transition moments*lol but I anticipate the *Meeting Face to Face* with great delight.

Amanda: I think all of us, if we are honest with ourselves, have moments of difficulty. We were never meant to die. It is a punishment & part of our fall from Grace.

Sandra: Here I am pontificating & you do the practical thing! ☺ It is getting hot here. Soon I will be the one miserable & bad~ tempered.

Kimba: I hope to visit again soon but we have had a rotten year with illness & I can assure you, you DO NOT want this latest one! ♥

joyfulmum said...

Ganeida, I've been offline for a mere two days and look what you've been upto, my goodness! :)
On a serious note, I've lost people very very close to me and have felt God become so real to me in those situations, and so it's something I am not afraid of though I would feel for the people I leave behind:(
On another note, how good is God that he knew you didn't have a lot of time when your dad passed away that He caused His word to open right at the place where you needed to see what He was saying! I am blown away by that, oh how good is our Abba Father!:)

The HoJo's said...

Kimba around here a nursing home fee is taken out of aged pension, 75% I think. Maybe find out now and worry a little less about the future? xx

Ganeida said...

joyfulmum: Have you not realised yet, I am garralous in the extreme! ☺ Not even illness stops my keyboard from wagging. ☺

Gerry Snape said...

" Be thou my vision"!!!! That's gonna be played at the do [[funeral] and it's got to be in the Irish beat and not that washed out version that they have put in the English hymn books [[not that I don't love the English... love them to bits] but it has to be as Old Patrick meant it to be of the essence of the heart. We sang it in assembly every week at school in Belfast. Cut me in half like a stick of rock and you will find in the middle.."be Thou my vision"!

kimba said...

Hojos: It's supposed to be 85% but that's only the basic day rate, they can load extra fees on top. It costs someone we know an extra $100 a week on top.

Gerry: That Irish hymn is one of our favourites.

Ganeida said...

Gerry: Of course it will be in Irish Beat & not that insipid English version! Preferably sung in Gaelic but I won't be pedantic about that. ☺

The HoJo's said...

*off to find a course...learn to sing Gaelic a tune a day, I wonder if ebay.........

xc