A mother’s love….. Day 5 of 48


A mother’s love is like God’s love;                                                                                                    He loves us not because we are loveable,                                                                                      but because it is in His nature to love,                                                                                          and because we are his children.  
Earl Riney
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You taught me love.  You taught me honesty.  You taught me to love unconditionally.  You taught me how to forgive and how to be strong.  You are the strongest person I have ever known.  You gave me strength when I was weak.  When times were sad and tough you reminded me to be grateful for the small things in life.  You taught me how to be myself.  Most of all you taught me about life and how to live. 

 

Extra tablets for your birthday…


A year ago I posted this…

Tomorrow, on the 31st of August, we will once again celebrate Vic’s life!  Every year, for the past 10 years, we expected it to be Vic’s last birthday.  Today I know that Vic will live forever.  She will continue to fight for another day, week, month, year…. Tomorrow we celebrate life!!

Tonight I sat doing Vic’s medication for the next 24 hours, and I popped an extra Jurnista into tomorrow morning’s tablets.    Janis Ian sings “and in the winter extra blankets for the cold…” and I sing ” and on your birthday extra tablets for the pain…..  My gift to Vic an extra tablet so she can a better day.

So, on the eve of my child’s birthday I am sitting thinking of what my prayer for Vic would be if I still knew how to pray.

I would pray for adequate pain relief.  I would pray for some quality of life time for Vic with her boys.  I would pray for Vic to have financial independence.   I would pray for Vic to have peace of mind.  I would pray that Vic would have enough faith in her dad and I to know it is okay to let go…the boys will be safe with us.

I do thank God that Vic is still alive.  I thank God for Dr Jabber Hussain and Jurnista.  I thank God for Vic’s incredible boys.  I thank God for the brave decision that Vic made not to have further surgery.  Above all, I thank God that Vic is home.

Tomorrow Vic will have a busy day.  She has a 08:00 breakfast appointment with Lee, a 10:00 manicure booked by Estherafternoon tea (at home) with Robbie Cramp and then dinner at a restaurant of her choice with the boys and us.   I know it will take a superhuman effort but I have “rests” scheduled for the birthday girl in between events.

What is a relatively quiet day for us is a marathon for anyone as ill as Vic.  I know that she will try so hard to survive the  birthday and the party day.  Somehow I don’t think she will manage it all.  I just hope that she has a good day so she can spend some constructive time with her boys.  They will need to remember this as a good birthday in years to come…..

On Saturday we will celebrate all the August/September birthdays.  Vic on the 31st of August, Henk on the 2nd of September and Tom on the 4th of September….  I hope Vic will be able to handle two busy days in a row.  Maybe the birthday high will carry her through it!

We have a family tradition of doing “birthday eulogies”.  Everyone present gets to say something nice about the birthday person.  Over the years I have told Vic how brave she is, what a fighter she is, how beautiful she is.  This year I will I will merely thank her for being here!

Everything else has been said.

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We whisper your name…


Some days I sense Vic’s closeness. I sometimes smell her. But I cannot touch her. I cannot hear her voice.

The boys and I light candles for you my precious baby…

We whisper your name

The boys write your name in the sand…

You send us feathers from Heaven….

How we miss your brave smile…

How I miss reaching out and being able to touch you

Holding you my precious child…

Yesterday, today, forever……

I love you Angel Child!

“Time takes us farther away…”


I have battled to blog. I feel that my words are rehashed from one post to the next. My emotions are the same.

My DiL and the three girls have spent 3 weeks in South Africa. It has been amazing hearing the patter of little feet down the passages, shrieks of laughter and anger… I will always cherish the little arms around my neck, the warm little bodies in my bed. I cherish the time I got to spend with my DiL; the chats into the early hours of the morning and the countless cups of tea. It reminded me of when Vic was still alive. I dread leaving England on Monday to return to my solitude and grief.

I feel guilty about posting my same tearful stories of grief and I feel guilty that I have become embarrassed by exposing my soul to the world – friend and foe alike.

The past four weeks life has been easier. I have laughed and smiled. I have had fun.

In 8 days’ time it is Vic’s birthday. I am filled with trepidation as to how I will cope. The second I think of Vic, tears well up in my eyes and there is this stabbing pain in my heart. I have decided that I will not move Vic’s ashes into the garden. Vic will remain on the sideboard where I can see her and run my hand over her little casket. Vic will not be exiled into the garden. She is part of our lives and she will remain exactly where she is.

I am wondering whether I should bake Vic favourite chocolate cake… The boys want to send up Chinese Lanterns we actually wrote messages on, on New Year’s Eve 2010. Vic was desperately ill in hospital and moved into ICU on the 1st of January 2010. She was devastated. The staff allowed us to spend the evening with her.

Vic being moved to ICU on New Years Day 1

At 12 O Clock we went outside to send up the Chinese lanterns. It rained and we undertook to do it when Vic was home again. Somehow we never did. When we returned to the ward, the staff had assembled in the visitors lounge. Someone had conducted a Mid-Night service. The staff sang beautifully and prayed for the patients. Many of them laid hands on Vic. Vic cried. Jon-Daniel was inconsolable. We all cried.

One of my blogger friend’s sent me this email “Oh, Tersia. You are held tight in the grip of horrific grief. Simply knowing that someday you will wrench free from such a suffocating grasp brings no relief at this moment. You already know you cannot fight it. Flow with the “ocean of tears.” A great deal of the horror is behind you, but you are reliving it. I distinctly remember that the WORST time in my grief came at six months and followed me until the end of the first year. Like an amputation without anaesthesia – you are deeply suffering and so many people feel your pain. Keep writing, crying and feeling. The ocean of tears will take you to a new shore. Time takes us farther away from our loved one. That is the agony and the anaesthesia. Such conflict that creates! Feel my hug because I’m with you.” http://judyunger.wordpress.com/

Another one of my blogger friends, Julie, is taking a sabbatical from blogging. She wrote “Just until my heart catches up with my voice. So much is happening, and so much is not happening – argh!”

I wonder whether my heart will ever catch up with my voice…

From the diary of my precious child…


I found these words in Vic’s diary. It was an entry towards the end of her life. I believe it is a message from my precious angel child – not only to me but to her friends and family.

I found a web source when I did the plagiarism check. The poem was written by Karen Vervaet. Vic changed some words by never finished writing what she started.

These are the words my beautiful child wanted to share with her friends and family…

Goodbye
I turn my head and look towards death now.
Feeling my way through the tunnel with the space of
emptiness and quiet.
The shimmering silence that awaits me.
This is my direction now; inward to the green pastures…
The cares of the world concern me no longer.
I have completed this life. My work is done, my 
children grown.

My loved ones are well on their hero’s journey. (original text – My husband is well on his…)
I have loved much and well…
Those I leave behind, I love.
I hope I will remain in their hearts as they will
in mine…
Thank you for taking such good care of me…
And all of you who have been my friends, thank you
for teaching me about love.

Karen Vervaet

My funeral


I am writing this through my tears. A dear cyber friend of mine is dying from congenital heart failure. She is a wise and terribly brave person. She posted this today…

“so here it is and then i am off to sleep.  when my sister was here we started talking about cremation.  of course she is the only person in my family that i would have this discussion with.  may i add we laughed although not all would find this humorous.  when cremated how do they separate the human remains from the ashes of the container used?  if no container is used why do they charge for it?  i have looked online for the answer and didn’t find it.”

This post jerked me back to Vic’s death bed. The memory of Vic sitting in her bed with an open file on her lap was burnt into my mind…. The folder – “My Funeral”

“Mommy, these are the hymns I want for my funeral…”

“Amazing Grace” and “How great thou art” were Vic’s hymns of choice…

“Mommy, do you think I can have candles? Lots of candles?” Vic asked.

In May 2012 Vic asked whether I would deliver her eulogy… She asked me to thank Jared for taking care of her and Jon-Daniel for making her laugh.

“Remember to make a list of everyone that we need to thank Mommy. I would hate for us to leave out anyone… “

On the 2nd of January, 16 days before she died, Vic double checked with me whether I remembered which hymns had to be sung at her memorial service.  She cried when she (again) named her pallbearers; she requested that her minister be called to administer communion.

“Please don’t let me lie in a refrigerator for a long time Mommy…Let them cremate me as quickly as possible”

I still feel the despair I felt then knowing that death was on the forefront of my child’s mind. I felt her fear of death; her terror of the unknown. I felt her desperate sadness and her reluctance to say goodbye… On the one hand her pain filled, little body was so diseased and weak. On the other hand,her will to live was so strong!

I was helpless. I was praying that Vic would die – that her suffering would end. I was bargaining with God to spare her. I tried negotiating with Him – my life for hers.

I still feel the madness that I felt then.

My dear friend is going through the same fears and emotions that my precious child did. She is making the same decisions. I wish I could reach out and hug her. I wish I could grab her from the claws of death.

I am thinking of you tonight my dear friend. In my thoughts you are well and safe. I wish I could spare you this journey. Lots of love and hugs.

https://tersiaburger.com/2013/02/13/the-process-of-preparing-for-death/

https://tersiaburger.com/2013/04/28/seasons-and-reasons/

https://tersiaburger.com/2013/04/25/it-is-okay-to-let-go-my-angel-child/

https://tersiaburger.com/2013/01/02/sisters-by-heart/

https://tersiaburger.com/2012/12/20/i-dont-want-to-die/

http://thedrsays.org/2013/07/16/quick-question/

I think God hates me?


http://risenetworks.org/2013/04/19/lovin 1

Over the years I have been deeply hurt by people of faith and religious institutions’ i.e. churches. I have spent many years of my life researching religion, seeking answers to my questions; to life’s twists and turns.

I believe in God. I believe in life hereafter. I believe that what we are living is hell and that heaven awaits us. I believe we are on earth to learn lessons, perfect our souls. I believe that we will return to earth until we have perfected our souls.

The “mind switch” was Passion of the Christ. I cried for three days. It was the most barbaric thing I had ever seen. I could not and cannot equate that to love. The other “mind switch” was the lovelessness of most “deeply” religious people. So I look at religion and this is the conclusion I have come to…

“Love” is The Big Commandment…. Matthew 22:36-40 NIV Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbour like yourself. All the Law and Prophets hand on these two Commandments@ Love God Thy Father and the second commandment that is equal to it “Love Thy neighbour”…

Love Thy Neighbour is quite a mouthful. Who is my neighbour – the person who lives next door to me in his multi million rand house or his domestic worker living in a room the size of a stamp on his premises? Maybe “my neighbour” could extend to the socio economic group that I equate to in my suburb or city? Hells bells, if I am generous the rich in my country may qualify…. But the people with different pigmentation and less money? No, no no!

Now let me spell it out. The way I see it

If God is a God of Love would He truly condemn people to eternal hell for not believing a particular version of religion? I know so many wonderful Muslim people who have “white souls”, who are kind, compassionate and generous. They would never deliberately harm a fellow human being. I know many beautiful Christians who are kind and compassionate and generous. I know that in a country like Saudi no money will exchange hands whilst it is Salah (prayer time). Restaurants and shops CLOSE for prayer 5 times a day and if you are not praying you will stand around in the passages of the shopping centre. You will not even be allowed to remain in the restaurant.

In my country and everywhere else in the world people of other religious groups will drink too much and talk about Muslims in a derogatory manner. They will call them heathens… They will lie and steal but take the religious high ground because they are “Christian”. And by the way, please do not inconvenience them and their social life by getting ill….If you are so inconsiderate – please die quickly so their lives can move along at it’s comfortable, fun filled pace.

Worldwide racism is alive and well. Where there is no racism it is tribalism, elitism that keeps hate flowing through the world.

For many years I did so-called “charity” and evangelism work in the poor rural areas in South Africa. Today I admit I am ashamed that I was so sanctimonious to think that I was needed to evangelize the poor. What do you say to a child who is freezing and hungry when they accept the Lord? “God is going to make your life better!”…That would imply that all of a sudden that child would have at least 3 meals a day, a bed and blanket, medical care and a good education…

Let me tell you, so-called evangelists hit and run. They convert and leave. There is no sustainability in what they offer. Most of their efforts are self-serving. Tomorrow that child is going to be cold and hungry and think “that woman of God said God would bless me…Why has He not done so? He must hate me…”

So, I ask the question…who is the “woman of God”? The self-appointed evangelist or the impoverished next door neighbour who shares her last crust of bread with the hungry child?

I don’t believe that there is a single religion that is “right.” There is good and bad in all religions. There is good and bad in every person!

The Catholic’s decided which books were to be in the Bible. The Qur’an is a modified version of the Old Testament. The Torah is another modified version of the Old Testament.

I know there will be a reaction to this post. I know many people will “unfollow” me after this post. That is fine. It is your right to decide what to read. It is my right to write what I believe and have experienced.

Vic often asked me “Mommy, why do you think God hates me?”

The Church deserted Vic. Christians deserted Vic. Family deserted Vic. Friends deserted Vic. Even the most religious of religious did not have enough compassion for my child to lift a phone and ask “How is your child doing?” or “I am sorry to hear about her passing”. Family, yes you read correctly, did not even sympathise. What a cold God they must serve? Yet these righteous self-serving stone-Christians point fingers at others for not being “obedient” to God’s Word. Surely not the Word that says “Love thy neighbour”………