Tag Archives: Mike

Grief

I wanted to write something about this for a while, but haven’t been able to find the right words. Two friends have done a much better job at finding the words than I can. But I’ll have a go.

These past couple of months certainly haven’t been easy. The only other funeral I’ve been to was my Gran’s, who was nearly 93 when she died. And its very different greiving for a 23 year old. Someone my age. My peer. My friend. When I think about the circumstances, all I can think is ‘but why?’. As I said to Pippa after the church service, ‘we shouldn’t have to do this’. We just shouldn’t. Especially when Michael was such an amazing, good natured, young man.

As Wood spoke about, reactions of others can be interesting. Numerous of my coursemates asked me if I was doing / had done anything good at the weekend. Its hard to know whether to tell people everything and deal with their shocked silence, or to simply say something vague and non-descriptive. I tend to do a mixture, depending on how I was feeling and who I was speaking to.

Saturday was a very odd day. At the start of the day, it hadn’t really sunk in what I was going to. Why I was making this journey from Manchester northwards. Of course I knew, just the reality of it really hadn’t hit yet. Until the coffin was carried in. Then it hit. The rest of the day I experienced a mixture of sorrow, nerves and general tension. My head ached, my stomach churned and tears flowed. By the end of it I was completely drained both physically and emotionally.

The service was very well done, very Mike. It allowed us to laugh at cute childhood tales, remember the good times we spent with him and say goodbye. Very fittingly Canaan’s Land was played, although I don’t know how the song expects there not to be a teared-dimmed eye!

I’d like to finish with a few lines of a song I found myself listening to on the journey both there and back. Its a song called Some of Us by Martyn Joseph and it seemed to sum up so much.

Some of us are present
Some of us have gone
Some of us are restless
We wait in this place
Between the vale of circumstance
Waiting for Grace

Update
Since posting this, I have found numerous other wibloggers entries about the funeral, all of which are of great value. It doesn’t matter how well something is written, its the thought and the personal value of it that counts, so all blog posts are appreciated. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone out, I don’t have time to read everybodys wiblogs these days.

Update

Apologies for the severe lack of blogging recently. Christmas seemed to appear out of nowhere this year, and even now I don’t really feel in the Christmas spirit. These past few months I’ve been ill numerous times (at the moment I’ve got a chesty cough) and more recently, I have obviously been trying to deal with the shock and grief of Mike’s death. Not to mention the pressures of writing a dissertation, doing shift work in the hospital and trying to continue with ‘normal life’. I did my last shift on Thursday night and then suddenly realised that it was my last weekend in Swansea I hadn’t written any Christmas cards or wrapped up any presents for Swansea people. These past few days have been a rush to get Christmas preparations sorted, clean the entire house and pack up for travelling home today, as well as do all the Christmas celebrations with friends and church.

I just feel like this term has completely knackered me, both physically and emotionally. I look back on it now, and I really don’t know how I got through it. A friend in Swansea gave me for Christmas a Mr Happy cushion / hot waterbottle holder, saying that he saw it and instantly decided it was a perfect present for me! I did question whether I am really that happy generally, for him to make that association and my friends assured me that I am generally smiley and cheerful. I suppose I should take it as a compliment that I can come across as smiley and cheerful, even when life isn’t so great. I’m just bemused by it. Not sure quite how I do it. Although, I do know I could do it without Him upstairs and numerous good friends (obviously one is more than good friends and theres also more friends than I could link to – or not if they don’t have a blog). But anyway, thank you.

Mystery

I received a card today with some very wise words in, which seemed to follow on nicely from Sarah’s post earlier this week, so I thought I’d share them:

“I do not know. It is a mystery.” These words were written by a family friend when my aunt died in India after only 15 months teaching in a Welsh Mission School. Then he wrote “It is indeed a mystery we can not now comprehend, but God gives us the mysterious gift of His grace to enable us to go forward.”

So true.

The Press

Well, its finally hit the UK press. Or at least, the Welsh news and the Evening Post.

Many thanks to Ee for pre-warning me before I walked into uni and found it plastered outside the corner shop. And it meant I wasn’t particularly surprised to find Richard busy in the uni chapel, giving statement to a reporter. He also came and asked if any students in the chaplaincy at that time would like to give a statement to the reporter. A couple of people were brave enough. I wasn’t. And I felt that those who did speak knew him better and for longer than I did. I just gave them a hug afterwards. The cameras are expected in the chaplaincy any minute. Richard has the ineviable task of facing them this afternoon. He has my deepest respect.

Mike

I, like so many others at the moment in Swansea, just don’t seem to be able to find the words, so I apologise for the random babblings. Ever since I found out, I’ve been wondering around in a complete daze. Unable to believe it. He was such an amazing guy. Caring. Gentle. Funny. Talented. Modest. And fab friend.

Mike (and Sarah) were the first people I met in Swansea who I became good friends with. I remember spotting the two of them, across our church during my first ever term at Swansea and thinking ‘ooh! – young people!!!’. After the service over coffee, I remember him joking about how we almost had enough students to set up a Methsoc! The last time I saw him properly was at my trip to the pub before going away on placement (after that I was away, and then he went to India). I remember being slightly tipsy at the end of the evening and I was wearing uncomfortable sandals, so walking wasn’t particularly easy. Mike insisted on walking me home, past his house and all the way up the hill, to ensure I was safe.

One of the regular events that we both used to go to, was the Reel Issues, held in the chaplaincy. Last night SCM had a Reel Issues there, we watched ‘Its a Wonderful Life’. One of the lines in it seemed to sum up how I was/am feeling. ‘Every man touches many people, and when they’re gone, they leave a hole’. Its so true. Mike did touch the lives of *so* many people in Swansea, and across the world. And his death has left many holes.

These past couple of days, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Everywhere there are reminders of him. The Kate Rusby song playing in the background; the programme about India on during my break at work; the young man on campus who looked scarily like him; and my attempts to take some mildly decent photos when we had a quiet afternoon at Three Cliffs yesterday. I’ll never be half the photographer that he was, and as you can tell from previous comments, he was forever giving me tips on how to improve (which I had hopelessly forgotten yesterday). Anyway, the photos below was taken for him. In his memory. Rest in Peace.

Three Cliffs Bay Powerful Waves

Amazing Sun Three Cliffs Bay