Well we are now in the season of Christmas, celebrating the not just the gifts and the family time but the Birth of Jesus Christ. It has been said Jesus is the Reason for the season. It could be for us as a family a particularly sad time if we allow it to be, I’m not sure that this is what Elijah would want for us. But rather Elijah (Yaweh is my God) Michael (who is like unto the Lord) he would want us to have a primary focus on Jesus the reason for the season first. This is something that a counsellor had said to us as well. This does not mean to say that this is not a time that is tinged with sadness that Elijah is not present with us in the flesh to share it with us, or no gifts under the tree from us or from Santa Claus and there is real pain associated with it and an opportunity before us – what do you do with the pain?. Do I allow my soul to enlarge and grow as a result and welcome or even readily embrace the times of pain or darkness, or do I not allow my soul not to enlarge and resent the pain and times of darkness. Well I have decided to choose the first path – the path to growth – I remind myself – grief is the price I pay for having loved. I am consoled that the will of God will not take me where the grace of God keep me.
In book I have been reading called something like A Grace Disguised – I’m not sure I have brought it with me out of town – the author writes a chapter – called Amputated from Self. One of the things the author make reference to amputees and how these people they experience and itch or some sort of sensation in the limb they no longer have and this called having a phantom limb. I’ve been in a season of this and have missed Elijah physically – and I guess some of the things like going to church for Christmas is just not the same – and it’s got a weird sensation about it – like the limb that is missing. Francesca wondered to me if Santa Claus knew that Elijah was now living with Jesus in heaven – I told her that I had told Santa already. We had a breakfast on Christmas Day with our close friends Bernard and Andrea and their daughters Siobhan and Briana– who live 9 houses down the road on the same street. We have done this each Christmas since we moved to Christchurch. Julie and I had already had a good crying session earlier in the morning. Julie myself and Francesca delivered Christmas cards to friends and then took deck chairs and spent some time at the cemetery thinking and talking to Elijah. On December 26th we drove south to Dunedin all up a 5 hour drive – could help looking for Elijah in the space he always occupied in the back seat behind Julie. We are staying with my sister her till just before New Year and will head home. Their house has many memories of the one and only trip we had with Elijah down here.
The loss of Elijah cuts both ways. On one hand we experience – the pain and loss of him and yet now he enjoys eternal life free from his physical struggles – no more seizures and physical restrictions. One the other hand Julie Francesca and I are able to freely travel out of town and stay place in a way that we could have not done because of needing to consider Elijah’s needs. This “freedom” is Elijah’s gift to us bittersweet though it might be.
Today whilst at and Aunt’s house she shared with me of how she was touched being with us in Christchurch for the Family vigil and funeral when the Lord called Elijah and how she has also shared something of Elijah with other friends and people she has met. The ministry of Elijah continues. I have a DVD with some footage of Elijah with me and will look to get a bunch of copies of this run before we head home to share with family. I am watching this DVD as I type tonight – all of the rest of the family and my sisters family are in bed asleep – this is a special time that I regularly like to share with my beloved son. Sometimes in tears, sometimes in awe of the gift from the Lord that Elijah and gratitude and thanksgiving for the journey thus far.
One of the clips has pictures of Elijah set to the Josh Groban song – you raise me up and the other is set to the song sung by Celine Dion. Both were used at Elijah’s Family Vigil.
In the days following Elijah going to the Lord one of my work colleagues sent me the words for the Celine Dion song Fly – I listened to it on the net and it sent ripples down my spine – it still does and in closing tonight I share them.
Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet
Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath,
don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget
Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light
Peace be with you and yours.
Check out a video clip of the Canterbury Angleman Syndrome Family end of year picnic