4th July, 2014
Today marks one year since my beautiful Aunty Yvonne died surrounded by all her family, after a long time suffering with cancer.
I left seminary in June, moved back to London, she died in July, I took her funeral and moved to Wales on the 1st August and started work on the 1st September – I’d be lying if I said I’ve even come close to really processing what’s actually happened.
I feel as though I’ve lost her rather than “buried” her (if that even makes sense?!) because the person I saw die simply wasn’t the person I knew – the cancer had changed her appearance so much. Hard to fit the pieces of the jigsaw together.
She took me all the way to Thailand in 2005, taught me alot about the world, alot about being human, alot about who I was (and who I really ought not to be!) without even intending to. I can remember staying with her one week and on the way to drop me home, when we opened the front door there was someone sleeping near her bin…to cut a long story short, she woke him up, made him a cup of tea and spoke with him…not even I would do that in today’s world!
I still have the jacket she bought me for work experience, it cost £150 which to a little boy was “big money”. It was way too big for me then so I didn’t actually wear it, but it’s the long black cashmere jacket I wear over my cassock now and it feels like a warm hug full of love and protection for a young Minister a long way from home. God indeed works in mysterious ways!
This is something I wrote just after Christmas last year when life slowed down just enough for me to try and grasp something of where I was, and what I felt and what I thought…
There, in your transfigured state.
lay the one we love and call our own.
undisturbed by the world’s affairs, but intimately changed.
In her eye, I see the woman that taught me how to see. Uniquely.
In her face, I see the One who mirrored grace. Innately.
and even here,
in her helpless weakness – I see strength. in her vulnerability – I see Gethsemane.
In her seeing, was true meaning. true loving, true being…
she, who to us true love exposed.
she, who taught us how to die…and how to live:
there – holding on to nothing. but. Love.
our ray. our sunshine. retreating…
to a space where none but the dead may live.
And everytime we hear the name of that disease.
And everytime we hear your favourite song.
And everytime we see your face.
And everytime we miss your touch.
And everytime we pass that place.
We will remember –
Like He who made you and loved you into being, you. journeyed. to your cross – confident that the darkness of death was not the end. That God was already yearning you: “ascend…my.tired,restless,gorgeous,child.”
That in Him, you could not be lost.
you live, more than you have. ever. lived.
In the space and light of God.
Where you have added to the angels song. To the Spirits dance. To the Saints long gone.
And we who are left behind with broken hearts and tangled minds
behind, blind. numb. to all that you have now become.
Not as we saw you, but, as we hoped to see –
restored. rested. risen.
In the space and light of God.
where you, with all the Saints of Heaven, were meant, and made to be.
| J R-B | 2013