Today, as I know many of us are aware, is the first anniversary of Janey’s death. On the one hand I can’t believe it’s been a year already and on the other, what a long year it has been too. We all still miss her so much.
Apparently, according to some I have read, it’s a good sign that I am comfortable to use that specific word: ‘death’. Those who write about grief phases suggest it evidences an element of progression in one’s grief journey as it reinforces the reality of what has happened. If I needed to get through that particular grief phase then, it would appear that I have!
But I still prefer to call Janey’s death, ‘passing’. Not because I am in denial, but because our faith offers tremendous comfort in knowing that she is now in Paradise; wonderfully whole, healed and perfected; and that we will all be together again one day in eternal peace and happiness. So that’s incredibly good news of course — news that helps keep her ‘death’ in perspective, for me at least.
That all said (and true!), I wont pretend however, that this past year hasn’t been the hardest one of my life so far. Grief has been an unchartered journey of huge challenge and change for me and I still feel like I’m taking only the tinniest steps of readjustment. ‘The valley of the shadow of death’ (Psalm 23) has felt like a long and unending valley! But thank you again to everyone who has travelled with me on that path and helped me to keep going. I feel deeply loved through the trauma.
But importantly, and I really do mean this, I don’t actually want this day to be about me even though it’s yet another hard day to get through. I’d far prefer the day to be entirely about Janey — a day to remember her and celebrate her and thank God for her once again. It’s a day I’d like to call ‘Janey Day’.
So if you’d like to, please feel free to post any comment that will again make us smile as we remember Janey and the unique, precious gift she was.
My contributions to honour her include the photo montage on Facebook (sorry if you’re not in any of them…simply way too many photos!) and the poem ’54 Years’ which follows at the end of this piece. If you’d like to, you can listen to it by following this link:
I have also included below a link to a song that Issy has written and recorded (which is entirely her own work) and which is a bit of a tear-jerker. I share with her permission of course. It is a beautiful, sorrowful, love-filled piece.
(Just as an aside, if you click the link to the poem first, then usually SoundCloud automatically starts playing Issy’s song straight afterwards. Then after Issy’s song, Soundcloud automatically plays a previously posted poem ‘Happy New Year’. I suggest you pause Soundcloud at that point…you can’t ‘switch off’ its ‘automatic play’ feature!)
And as a final comment of my own (albeit not about Janey!) I also wanted to thank and honour Sol and Issy who have been utterly magnificent through their suffering and loss. We are soul-mates in grief but continue to spur one another on to keep looking ahead for healing and new life.
With love as ever.
Here’s 54 years They’re yours A gift that leads to 54,000 years And more But for now 54 years.
Squeeze as much as you can into them I know you want to And I know you will
More than enough to excel Talent and character Arm in arm A recipe for success
You’ll attract a crowd That smile That laugh That voice Your presence So positive Brimming with enthusiasm
Passion Compassion Determination Excellence Hospitality Creativity Adventure Faith Fun
Doors will open And walk on through I know you will Arm in arm With best friends Too many to count Too many to carry Each one nevertheless special And you give them everything Until you can’t give them everything And the prize comes into view
Better is one day in your courts Than a 1000 elsewhere
20,000 days here 54 years Not nearly enough Yet bulging Brimming Bursting With fullness
And now you’re in court Game Set And match
You’ve won the prize
What a champion!