Me & the Family

Me & the Family

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The pilot light is OUT.

Six months have nearly come and gone since my sister passed away.  Mourning is such a weird thing to experience, especially due to my desire to not be depressed or sad.  Amy wouldn't have had it any other way.  I miss my sister deeply and be connected to her through her facebook page it is clear that others are having the increased of longing for her at this time.

Is mourning on a time line?
Or is it the season?

I guess it would be like this forever.
My sister is frozen in time.
Forever young.

During the summer last year I began to bake less due to the extreme hot Florida weather.  The house is hard enough to keep cool...running an oven makes it even hotter.  I assumed that when winter hit my house would become another baking zone.  When I would bake it did make me feel as though I was closer to her.  I would often worry that my baking would make her sad, but overall she would come away happy that I was doing it.

When you lose someone they tell you that you will feel closer to them when you do certain things.  I thought that I would bake this winter and that it would allow me to feel closer to my sister.  I feel quite contrary to that...for I do not want to cook.  I don't want to bake at all.  When I think about baking for just a moment I get excited and the gruesome task of baking takes over.

Even simple brownies...
or rice krispy treats

I recognize that my life changed shortly after Amy died in more ways then just losing my sister.  Two weeks after returning home from the funeral the kids started school and I began to watch one more child full time.  I know that those changes did impair my stamina and desire to bake...but after much thought I think I realize the full depth of it.

You see, I am a Christian.  I believe in Heaven and I believe in Hell.  Although I may not be certain if you get a direct ticket to heaven the moment you die or if you rest in peace until Jesus comes again...I do believe that EVENTUALLY if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you live life according to that basic fundamental belief guiding your life that you will go to Heaven.  I believe that whole heartedly.

There was a time that I believe that if you died you had a one-way ticket to Heaven, which may or may not be the case.  At the time I had those thoughts I also believed that if someone was in Heaven that I could easily   talk to them and they could keep an eye over me in the here and now.  My view on those thoughts have changed significantly as my reading and studying of the Bible has increased.

If my sister had a direct ticket to heaven and is NOT just resting in peace until Jesus comes then I believe that she is not an angel.  I believe that God has angels and that we humans are different then angels.  Therefore when a Christian dies they do not become an angel, rather they are a child of God and go to Heaven where they will have a role/job in the presence and and continually worshiping of God.  Now that leads me to know that my sister is not watching me over like a guardian angel.  (Matthew 22:30)

If my sister had a direct ticket to heaven and is NOT just resting in peace until Jesus comes then I believe she can't hear my suffering.  Maybe she can hear my shouts and tears of joy but she cannot sense my pain or sorrow.  To even say that I could speak to her and ask her to pray for this painful thing or that painful thing (come on!  she's right there by God's ear...what sister WOULDN'T be praying for her family)...because pain is not a part of Heaven.  Heaven is bliss.  Heaven is no more suffering.  She cannot look at Earth because Earth and all it contains is a place of pain and suffering.  Yes, there are joyful things here, but there is pain.

We have all felt it.
You too.

These realizations have me sitting in what seems like a state of confusion.  I am thankful that my sister is no longer in pain.  I miss her dearly and feel an overwhelming statement to her that goes something like this..."Where the hell are you?  You are supposed to be here!"  She is not here, and that is my reality.  I think that based on my beliefs I am irritated by baking.  I'm irritated that it doesn't make me feel closer to her...rather it makes me feel farther from her.

She can't hear me.
She can't see that I'm baking.
She can't tell me that she's glad I'm doing that.

She was my baking enthusiast!
She was my encourager.

I built up my baking in an attempt to let her live her non-baking self through me for two years.  It made the 1000+ miles between us seem bearable.  It wasn't until recently that I truly understood that's what baking meant to me.  I wanted her to be proud of me!  I wanted to show her that I could pass that love that she had on to my children and onto my niece and nephew.  The reality is though...that it feels dead.

My desire to bake is dead.
And this makes me sad.

It makes me sad for it was an outlet that I was able to share with others.  I enjoyed baking for others and there are many more people and opportunity to share God's love and mercy with people...all through baking. It's a great introduction to a caring relationship with someone who needs that.  It's part of the hands and feet of Christ that I enjoyed doing.

Yet baking is not igniting within me.
Funny...but my blogging hasn't been either.

So I ask...WHAT AM I TO DO???


Stephanie Faris said...

I'm so sorry. Big hugs. I know no words can really comfort you during this time but I do believe there is life after death...I can't believe this would be it. My husband's dad died when he was very young. Ten years or so ago he went to a renowned psychic and the psychic told him that his dad was in the room with him - that he's with him throughout his life. I think there are such a thing as guardian angels, too, and they are usually someone we've known and loved.

My e-mail is, by the way. I came over to give you that and got caught up in your words.

Plain Jane said...

Thanks, Steph. It's just weird. A weird place for me. I guess I'm frustrated because I should not need her to be all around me to exist. God is bigger than that!

Steven said...

I can't comment as to the religious aspects of your dilemna, but was the only reason you took up baking in the first place solely for your sister? If that answer is yes then I don't see why you should beat yourself up over not wanting to do it anymore.

If it's something you truly enjoyed prior to your sister's illness, that joy will come back in time. You're still very near the trauma....6 months isn't that long, really, when it comes to mourning. But look at it from a different could teach others how to bake and pass your sister's enthusiasm on to them. That way you're honoring her memory with a tangible skill and everything made by you and those you teach will just further that honor.

Maybe, for now, focus on something other than baking until you've healed more.

Plain Jane said...

i think that her skills and the competition and love of my sister pushed me to make it a challenge and a joy all wrapped into one. i was creating magnificent pound cakes and thinking about starting a business out of it. since's as if i've lost the wind in my sails.

i am using other creative outlets such as glass etching (everyone's christmas presents this year), blanket making, and party planning. i have to be creative in some way...but i look at my stove and it just makes me sad.

Jenn said...

I am so sorry to hear about your sister PJ. I know that losing a sibling has to be extremely hard. I think that given some time...the desire to bake may come back...sometimes we just need to let the grieving process take its its own way and in its own time. Your sister is in heaven now...and she's in His Presence and in her new body with no pain and no worries.

My Aunt passed from cancer a year ago this month. I can't begin to tell you how instrumental she was in helping my mom raise us kids, and how much of a role she's had in leading me to Christ and in my walk through all these years.

There are days I want to pick up the phone and just call her...and I can't do that. There are days that something small...will get the tears flowing because she's no longer here. I wasn't able to get to Florida in time to be with her in her final days, and I wanted to be there and I felt much guilt about that when she passed.

I believe that God has blessed me with visions and dreams and He let me have a dream of her and it brought some much needed closure and healing. Like Daniel, I wrote the dream down and I thank God he gave me that dream everytime I think of her. Since then, I've had Peace, and I still cry sometimes when I think of certain memories...but they are tears of love not sadness.

Many hugs to you...I know the journey here is different for each of us. I hope you find that Peace...and that maybe one day, when the time is right, you find the desire to bake again.

Cheers, Jenn.

Plain Jane said...

Thanks, Jenn! i guess it was just taken back that something as simple as baking would be non-enjoyable. and yes, mourning is it's own journey that even though we can try to process in its own time.

Stephanie Kress said...

I've had a lot of time to think about things since Amy's passing. I've never been a very religous person, but I do believe in God and in Heaven and Hell. These past 6 months have been harder than I expected. I've lost aunts and uncles and all my grandparents. The pain of losing them was hard. But losing Amy left a void and a pain in my heart that will never heal. She was my touchstone.

I do believe she is looking out for each one of us. I asked her for a sign that everything was going to be ok 3 weeks ago when I had my surgery. My mom had surgery a few months ago. I ended up in the same prep room as my mom with the same nurse. The only difference was before they wheeled my away a priest showed up to pray for me. Afterwards my dad asked when did they start that because no one showed up for my mother. That was Amy. I truly believe that. And the calm that fell over me after he left was amazing. I knew then everything was going to be ok. And I hope I'm not going to be too selfish asking for another sign this summer when I have to have more surgery. I'm sure she will let me know that too.

Don't give up on baking. That brought so much joy to Amy. And I know it brings you joy too. I've done a lot more cooking/baking in the past 6 months and I think Amy would be proud of what I've accomplished. It is a painful reminder but it should be a happy one too. Share that with your children.

Amy talked so much about both her sisters and I always looked forward to hearing how everyone was. She loved you both so much. I know I'm not your sister, but please remember I'm always here for you anytime you need me.



Plain Jane said...

Oh Steph!

i do believe Amy would send you a priest - and that alone makes me laugh! hahaha! not to say that it's funny but it kind of is.

i am glad that you believe in heaven and hell but i'm going to say something that i think amy would want me to say... if you are asking for a sign and she sent you a priest it's because she knows you need God. it's more than just a bedside prayer. i'm learning that. MORE AND MORE.

i love you - and i'm just going to challenge you with that.

i know that you loved amy as one of your own sisters so SERIOUSLY if you ever want to talk - call! i'm always around. i might have screaming babies on my, but i'm ALWAYS here.

Joanne said...

Hi PJ,
I've been away from My Space for a long time and just read this blog from January. How are you doing now? How are Amy's children and husband? This is not just a grieving time for you. It's a growing time. Ask God to teach you what He wants you to learn and that He would bring beauty out of this pain. God be with you. Joanne