Two-and-a-quarter years ago today, I lost the love of my life to cancer. Fiona was my soul-mate and my best friend; the only person who really ‘got’ me with my weird Aspie traits, and she was the most gentle, kind-hearted and Christlike person I ever met. What a privilege it was for me to be married to such a lady!
And we think about her daily. Not a day goes by without I have a happy memory of her; the way she was, and especially the things she would have found funny. Fiona found so much joy in life; so much to laugh at. To illustrate the point, here is a very blurred picture of Fiona laughing at something our grand-daughter Lucy was doing.
It’s blurred because the camera shutter speed was slow (the lighting was poor) and because Fiona was laughing and moving her head, but it illustrates her wacky sense of humour. You see, Lucy is holding a Chocolate Orange, and that particular confection is composed of twenty segments of orange-flavoured chocolate which you traditionally tap on a hard surface in order to separate the segments, before you unwrap the orange, so that you can eat the pieces one by one. However Lucy hadn’t heard about that bit, and so she’d taken the chocolate out of its wrapper and tried to get the whole thing in her mouth at once. Fiona’s reaction is easily visible despite the picture being blurred 😀
Even now, and usually on a daily basis, we (my daughter Ellie and I) laugh at many things, and often say to each other, ‘Mum would have found that hilarious’. Because she would. I’ve just thought: if there is indeed a Judgement Day video where all our life is played back in Blu-Ray quality, mine and Fiona’s is going to be bloody hilarious… 😀
I often notice habits or attitudes that I have, which were put there by Fiona, just by her being herself and being such a great lady. There are things that I notice each day, like those funny things or those attitudes, or maybe little trinkets decorating the house, or maybe a certain arrangement of furniture, but things that remind me of her. Things that we still do that she too loved to do, like going out places and going for walks, things like that. It all reminds us of Fiona.
In so many ways, then, much of who Fiona was is still with us, and while it is of course painful for us when these things remind us of her loss, still, what we do in these circumstances is to remember her with joy – which we do without even trying – and in that way her legacy of goodness, love, joy, wisdom and laughter will never be lost. It’s kind of bittersweet, I suppose.
I have also learned, and I continue to learn, huge amounts about the vast wisdom and love of God in situations like ours. I have endeavoured to share with my readers as much of this wisdom as I can, or at least, as much of it as is communicable, and as much as is not personal revelation that is not for others. I am increasingly aware that death is not the end; I know this because God has given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of my inheritance – I can feel the Spirit there all the time; I live in a constant awareness of the Presence of God – and because He has shown me that this is the case. And so, on that level, I am confident that I will see Fiona again; because I know that Jesus has conquered death, and because I know that I died with Him and therefore I will also live with Him (Rom 6:8; 2Tim 2:11).
It’s just that I miss her so much now, right now. I still dream about her most nights. I still miss the light of her presence in the house. And yet still I have that unshakable hope: I will see her again in Glory.
You see, God is present in everything; all of Creation is shot through with His sustaining power and His amazing creative energy; His love, His bubbling enthusiasm. And all Creation worships Him in response (Ps 66:4; Ps 19:1). The entire universe is infused with His presence; what David said in Psalm 139:7 is true –
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?”
…amongst other things (read the psalm; you will get what I mean) – God is just so vast, huge, great and incomprehensible.
Given that God is so bubbling with Life and Love, how can I doubt that everything that Fiona was is somehow taken to be incorporated into that incredible Presence? If I can feel that Presence now, even as weakly as this body allows, how much more will Fiona, in that Place beyond all places, be soaking in the immediate, overwhelming Power of God? I think that’s awesome, and the reality of that concept is part of what sustains me. After nearly 40 years of walking with Jesus, I have learned sufficiently of His ways and His truth to know that He’s so much more amazing, so much more wonderful, than I can possibly imagine. And because of that, I know Fiona’s in the very safest of hands, and that I, one day, will go and join her there, and I will never need to miss her again. And what a day that will be! 😀
Header picture shows Fiona meeting Lucy for the first time, once Lucy had been brought home from the maternity unit.