We bought tickets.
Standard advice when you experience the death of an immediate family member goes something like this, “Go home, go back to work, and don’t make any major life decisions for at least a year.”
Given the difficulty of our daily life in Rwanda, the standard advice didn’t really apply to us. In many ways, we have been struggling the last couple of years, and Beatrix’s death has made it impossible for us to consider returning immediately.
And we don’t know what we might decide to do next, after this season of grieving.
However, there are some practicalities that need to be taken care of: we need to make provisions for our house to be empty and protected for a longer period, we need to make sure our dog is taken care of, and that the utility bills will get paid. We need to look at our ministry responsibilities and see what can be done. We have to sort through Beatrix’s stuff, and decide what we might want to keep, and what we might give away. (Most will probably go into the latter category, partly because I can’t imagine dressing another child in her clothes, for example, but also because I know all toys and clothes will go to children who really need them.)
We need to grieve with our community there. For many of them, Beatrix’s death won’t seem real until they see us without her. And for us, going back to the house where we spent most of her life…
I don’t want to do this, because I know that it will be unimaginably hard, but I know that at a certain point, the longer we put it off, the harder it will be. I want to have done it – but I can’t just arrive at that point without going through it.
We are so thankful that a friend (who is the one of the kindest, gentlest, most patient, & most capable women I know) is going to accompany us for the first couple of weeks to help support us. We arrive in Rwanda at the end of January, and will be there for about 2 months.
I’ll keep you posted as best I can on how that goes.
You probably won’t fly through south africa but if you do and want some time in a beautiful place (Drakensberg) let us know. The middle of our house is for a house manager – who we dont have at the moment – so is free for use. Yours as Iong as you need it Xx
Thanks for keeping us up to date, I always love hearing from you. It will be a tough journey but you are right it is one that needs to be done. All I can say is take it day by day minute by minute if need be. Just remember your Canadian friends & family are thinking about you & Mike when you go grieve with your Rwanda family & friends. I am grateful for the wonderful support you have to bring you laughter & love. May peace & love be with you during the Christmas season & the new year. Hugs!
Thanks Audrey! It means so much to us.
I have met you only once at the Haynes Church in Alberta. But I have received your blog post since you went to Africa. I was so sad for you upon hearing that your daughter had tragically passed away. I have appreciated your honesty in your blogs as of late. Grieving is such a hard road to to navigate. But you writing your thoughts and feeling is a wonderful way to help you process it all and it also is a way to let other people to get a glimpse of how you are dealing with your pain. I am truly grateful you have Jesus, because without him, this life would be utter hopeless. I am glad for the hope we have that we and our loved ones who believe in Jesus will be reunited in heaven and that someday we can praise God together with the heavenly hosts! And I thankful for the people God has placed around you at this time in your life. It seems like a good thing for you to return to Rwanda. I believe it will bring healing to your heart, but also it will allow your Rwandan community support a mzunga (I might have misspelled that) that has suffered.
I hope my words will encourage you and not be an arrow to pierce your hurting heart. I am well aware of well intentioned words that can wound the soul.
May God bless you and keep you. May his light shine around you and give you peace.
Thanks Tammy. It’s true – our community in Rwanda has been impacted by this and have tried to be with us from afar, but I know that it allows for another dimension in our relationships. We appreciate your words.
Grieving with you guys! May God give you great strength and peace at this tome and through out this time! 😪
We grieve with you and our prayers go ahead of you as you prepare to take this difficult journey. If there is anything we can do, please let us know! Our thoughts and prayers are with your daily!
Dear Amanda and Mike,
I am feeling for your difficult journey, you put it so well.. when you said, that
” I want to have done it – but I can’t just arrive at that point without going through it.”
I have felt like that sometimes when faced with something I knew I needed to go thru, but didn’t know how I could.
I will be praying for you, and know that God will be with you, as He has been with me, and that He gives grace, and mercy, and provides what is lacking in our ownselves, as we turn to Him sometimes desperate, sometimes beyond the courage to face it. In the verse I wrote about Beatrix and you, I put it this way… “but two not three they grieve… For this they have Jesus, for they know its Jesus, …. (now I forget how it went)… but only in Christ can life be found. Such a precious daughter given for such a short time, yet missing her more all the while we go on. I love and pray for the sweetness of His presence for each step of the way…