Apologies for how long it's been since my last post. It's been such a mixed few weeks. A close friend of mine died last Tuesday (27th July). Words really don't cut it at such times but I'll say a few.
My memories of Paul are wide and varied: they start with buying cigarettes for us before I had my first cigarette, they continue to things like ABBA music, to many holidays together - especially trips around wineries ... Rutherglen will not be the same without him, to living in the same house as him and lots of memories around that, to planning his proposing to his wife and being involved in the activating of that plan, to watching 6 hours of Brady Bunch straight ... and I need to mention The Simpsons, Mad about You and South Park, to lots of msn conversations, to walking through and talking about lots of the crap times in our lives together. Those are just a few of the scattered memories I have of the 13 years I've known Paul.
The last week has been full of lots of grief - and lots of joy. Grief about Paul's sudden and tragic death, grief for us and grief for my very close friend Julie, who is his wife. The agony of his death for many of us is very hard to put words to.
The joy of knowing the end of pain for him, the knowledge of him being with God for eternity - the absolute certainty that we have in his relationship with God and the way that has been proclaimed in this last week has been amazing and a source of joy. Someone has commented that the last conversation he had with them was about how much he longed for people close to him to know God and I'm really conscious that his faith has been proclaimed really strongly in his death - that has been a joy to be around and to be part of. It's also been the place that myself, and many others, have found hope, strength and refuge.