he left good footprints

DSCF1030People have asked me to write some thoughts, and share some of what I am experiencing … in the hope that maybe this helps either now or in the future
… because in my experience … this is a pretty normal reaction
So I have shared some of what I am feeling in the first part of this overdue post …. and then shared something of my words from the funeral …..

On the 11th August my world changed.
I did not realise how much until a couple of days ago.

On that day I received a call to tell me that my younger brother, Steve, died in accident.
I crumbled,
tears flowed
I became vacant
more tears flowed
with a massive feeling of emptiness.
The shock was virtually instant,
more tears flowed
accompanied with a sense of numbness,
of disbelief,
of feeling this was not really happening.
No matter where I was,
or who I was with,
no matter how important they were to me …
I was not there
I was somewhere else
Rob had left the building
A place that I don’t even know where it is!
I’m not sure I wish to find it again
Just I was not here.

Steve and I had become very close over the last few years
We had laughed a lot, and cried a lot together as well
I miss him so much
I did not realise how much I loved him
And how much this was going to hurt

The feelings of grief have not really hit until the last few days
This is because I had to sort things like banks, credit cards etc
As well as plan the funeral with Tanya and Mum …
I was determined to take the funeral and speak myself
I knew it would be hard
I knew it would tear me in two … and it has …. but I am rebuilding … and it’s why it has taken me 5 days to be able to share anything
But I also knew I needed to do this because I knew what sort of funeral he would have wanted, me, in clericals, new shirt and shoes … and with the freedom so I could say things that other vicars would not be able to say ..

In my intro I declared:
‘Steve … Son to my mum Jackie; very incredibly proud dad to Peter, Loving caring ‘the rock’ partner to Tanya, friend to many of you here today … and my little brother…. I think we can all agree …. he was amazing … but ever so slightly Steve was a bit of a wanker!’
People laughed and cried in equal measure …. because he was …. and that was why we loved him so flipping much!

During the service  I read John 14:1-4 … the bit where Jesus says that he prepares a place for us. I added in my talk that I don’t think Jesus gives a toss what we believe … he prepares that place regardless …. I said that because I believe that is the reality of a God of love, and a reality for all of us.

It’s impossible to talk about Steve without remembering his quick witted humour … so I shared a joke of his … ‘A favourite being in the Oak Quiz night. It’s my favourite because basically my sense of humour froze at the 14 year old boy level. So did Steve’s! The quiz question was … ‘Which country does the airline Cathay Pacific now fly for?’ Milliseconds after the answer came of of ‘For China’ … Steve shouted ‘For China?’ over and over again!’ …. if you don’t actually get that … then just say it a few times  aloud to yourself!

Most of all I love words that a new and great friend, Rhos, shared …. ‘Wherever Steve went he left good footprints’

I love that thought, agree with it with all my heart …. and so wish my brother was still making those footprints in this world … so much

RIP Steve … you silly bugger …. love and miss you loads!

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