Exhaustion – mental and physical – disbelief, anger, bitterness, confusion, emptiness, loss of faith and feeling as though life is somehow unreal, pointless, meaningless and a total waste of time are all feelings caused by so many losses of our family. So much sadness and even badness around me.
I know mum is truly devastated and struggling to cope with losing two children in a short space of time. Losing her husband now in a care home due to dementia during both deaths hasn’t helped. Her house is empty, her life is empty and that is exactly how I’ve been feeling too.
Only having to care for mum and dad has kept me going really. On auto pilot each day I go about normal business but with such an intense anger inside asking why God was allowing all of this to happen to my family. The cruelty of it all that just as my sister found happiness again after losing her daughter and her husband, life was cruelly taken from her. Her grandchildren and surviving daughter now left with no one but each other.
Yes, they have us too, but what seventeen and twenty two year old wants people of almost seventy and in their nineties around them? The daughter in her early forties is different. She stays in touch, but what lies ahead for them, for us? Where is God in all this pain, loss, suffering?
My eldest sister suffered for three years unable to eat a thing as her throat opening was no larger than a pea. She couldn’t lie down or go to bed as radiation had killed off all saliva, thereby producing excess mucus that needed clearing every five minutes or she’d choke. Her whole body covered in huge scabs that bled if you just looked at them.
I’ve never seen such suffering in anyone. Then my other sister collapsing with no warning, in excruciating pain and paralysed only to be told she had cancer that had spread to the spine and was terminal. She managed only eight months after being told. The end came very suddenly and unexpectedly. The shock was immense. No goodbyes were said, no endings.
In between my two sisters, my father, my husband and now my mother needing surgery at ninety-six, there was also something else very major that happened which was overwhelming, but that remains private to all but those closest to me. Something else I had to struggle badly with that nearly pushed me over the edge. So much, so very much. What else could be thrown at us? I truly wondered if my mind and body would cope with the enormity of it all. If my mother would, but we have.
Those who have followed my blog, books, heard me on radio and know what I teach, are aware I have a deep, deep faith and love for God. It goes so deep with me wanting to devote my whole life to Him and bringing people to know Him, love Him, serve Him and try their hardest to be as Him.
I lost all of that for a while and was consumed with an anger such as I’d never felt before. I despised everyone, the world, my life and God. If God was so good, how could He allow all this to happen in such a short space of time? Why would He allow my poor parents to be separated after seventy-five years of marriage with dad thinking he was unwanted and unloved.
We were, and are, torn to pieces seeing dad’s anguish. It is impossible to have him home. In the care home he is at peace and cared for well. As soon as he goes near his own home, he had dreadful delusions that make him a danger to himself. What a cruel way to end such a lifelong marriage. I pick my mother up and we go to see him most days taking him to the beach to sit and enjoy the sea and dogs running on the sand, digging big holes to bury stones or running into the water for a swim.
We enjoy our times out and most often he enjoys it, but other times he begs to be taken home and asks why we don’t want him. My own husband has dementia no one acknowledges except the doctors and me. His family refused to believe it and see him only once or twice a year so it’s easy for them to pretend he’s fine. I have to cope with my house being ruined and devalued, having to lock two rooms to put things in as he throws so much away without me seeing him do so.
My sisters were good people. God loving, generous, loyal, trustworthy, kind, honest, dependable and so much more to so many. My parents the same, as was my niece and brother in law. Everyone taken from us and suffering so badly were good, truly good people. All those around us the opposite of those things seem to thrive, never suffer, sail through life with no stress, worries or illness.
This is what made me think. If God truly existed, why was He allowing all these good people who believed in Him, who’d served Him all their lives, to suffer and die as they had when He left all the bad people living a wonderful life with no stress or ill health? What is the meaning of this? I know those answers and teach them to others, but too much, too quickly was too much to bear and I broke. I was truly broken for a short time.
Life in all during the last few years has been hard, so very hard. I have struggled badly with believing God exists, having faith, hope and trust I tell others to have in Him. Everything I teach when giving counsel to others in their times of need, I have tried to say to myself.
It has been a hard struggle and yet underneath it all, I still believed, still had faith, hope and trust even when I said I didn’t. Even when I shouted and swore at God, deep down somewhere inside, my love and belief in Him was just as strong as ever. Yes, I shouted and swore at Him due to my pain and deep, deep grief. Yes I queried His existence.
My struggles at trying to cope alone and be the strong one who was/is there for everyone else while putting my own grief, pain and suffering to one side was too much. With no support anywhere near me apart from a family of people who lie about me, there was/is no outlet for my own pain. It was and is hard, so very hard.
Things are now calmer, my mind is calmer and I’m in no doubt it’s because an angel of God is with me. Helping and calming me, helping me to get through this and be strong for my parents who need me. Through this spell of grief and sadness – and with the badness from one direction that never ceases – one thing has become very clear.
I used to be very private, keep everything to myself and only family. In a couple of my books I have shared things that I wasn’t even aware I had shared until a friend pointed it out to me. She was shocked I’d opened up and spoken of things always before kept very private. Now, I am doing it again, but this time, I know why I am doing it, but that’s for the next post and not this one.
For now, thank you for listening to me and allowing me to share what may be boring for you, but was a necessity for me to get out in order to help heal and move forwards. Now, I feel able to maybe start my work again and it will start with the revelation of why I have had to share parts of my private life. Till then, thank you all for your love and prayers – be assured both are sent to all of you daily.
Sweet friend, my heart breaks for you because I have stood in those thoughts myself in those darkest hours. Suffering, unexpected loss, betrayal and dementia are hard to wrap our brains around yet even though we may turn or question the reason at some point God graces us with acceptance. I pray this sense of calmness remains with you and is extended to your family. Hugs.
Dear Ann, what lovely and very kind words. Thank you, but thank you especially for your prayers. It seems they were answered, because an angel of God is definitely with me helping me through this. Much love to you dearest Ann xxxx
Dear Lorraine, Your story is in no way boring! Thank you for posting it. It’s so sad to lose your loved ones especially so close together. I prayed that God would send his angels to comfort you. You’ve brought love and hope to so many people, and now it’s time to send some back to you with our prayers. God Bless, Ann