Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Silly Little Things That Hurt The Most

Today has seen an event that demonstrates how the smallest thing can cause the greatest pain. I am writing this post in part to exorcise some very negative feelings in the style of Blog Self-Counselling. Don't read on if you don't fancy it. 

The thing is, I lost my beautiful and beloved Dad a few years ago. It wasn't a tragic death in the sense that he sort of went when it was time, and he went peacefully - but he was my dad. I cannot adequately find words to express my love for that funny little man, a person who gave up so much to take my mum and her young family into his life a while after my birth-father had died. He would have told you that he gained much more from being our dad than he lost by sacrificing his retirement peace and quiet (he was appreciably older than mum, but they still enjoyed over twenty years of marriage). Daft old bugger died on mum's birthday too - silly old sod. 

Due to many factors, chief among them being good old procrastination probably, only recently did we inter his ashes and in his memory plant a young tree. It would have been just what he would have chosen too, so we felt proud. 

The thing is with such 'shrines' (and we see them in abundance at roadsides these days), is that while they are in themselves simple and not of the living, they become the place where we pour so much of our latent grief. That little tree became important not just it was a little tree, but because it was dad's little tree. If I had courage to say or believe it, that tree became the next nearest thing that we had to dad. 

Until that little tree was vandalized and snapped. Killed, murdered, defiled, desecrated. To me, my mum and probably to my brother and sister, it isn't the murder of a tree that would have grown strong and proud over decades, but of my dad and his memory. 

I am left unable to get breath. Yes, it was only a bloody tree, but it was my daddy's tree. I live my life to help others and love them into the Kingdom, but there are bits of me that would commit a crime at the moment. Of course, the vandals did nothing to my dad, and probably didn't even know the tree meant anything - but it doesn't feel that way, not a little bit. I am now languishing in the darkest mood I have known for some times, and better for those vandals that I live two hours away. Perhaps it is my job to forgive, like good Christians should, and maybe I will.

But I can't do it now. Not yet. 


  1. What a cruel senseless thing to do. It must feel absolutely personal I imagine, and I can well understand your murderous feelings for the perpetrators.
    Where was the tree that they were able to get at it?
    Is there any remote possibility that it might be encouraged to sprout out from what is left.
    I am so sorry for you all. With the best will in the world, these sort of savages take some understanding and I for one would never be able to forgive them.

  2. I wish I could heal the hurt with an Elastoplast but I can't. All I can do is to say that I do feel for you. In a way it is the wanton destruction for its own sake that is the hardest, the Yahoo-ness of it. But as someone once said, 'they know not what they do'.

  3. David, I'm so sorry for your pain and share your anger and incomprehension at such wanton and senseless destruction. You will forgive, I'm sure, but not easily and certainly not yet. If the tree doesn't regenerate, I hope you feel you can plant another elsewhere.

  4. This may seem like I'm just trying to promote my blog, I'm not - I'm trying to promote a little girl's message and I think it would make you maybe smile a little. It's relevant. Check out the cartoon video I just posted with the daughter of a blogger friend.

    Teresa Speaks: My Favorite Bible Verse

    I'm sorry for your pain.

  5. I hope that you are able to get over this, but the pain is something you won't forget in a hurry.

    Will say a prayer for peace for you and forgiveness (for them).

  6. I am so sorry. Vandalism is an act of fun for the perpetrator but the victim suffers more/deeper than the physical damage done. We attach sentiment to physical things and when it is broken or taken away it hurts. Totally understand how you feel because similar happened to me.

  7. Thank you all for your remarkable kindness and sympathy. Not only will your care be a gift of grace to me, but also my family who also read this.

    Funnily enough, I reflect that Dad would have been altogether more stoic about this than I have. Vive la difference.

    Blessings and kind thanks to you all.

  8. The roadside "shrines" made of teddy bears and balloons and plastic flowers are eyesores. They should be taken down.
    Sorry about your Dad and the tree but you need to get over this quickly and go and plant another tree. You are clearly over-reacting.

  9. Thank you for your comment, Anonymous. While I sense that I know who you are, you do not know me enough to judge my reaction. However, on what you say I am largely inclined to agree -

    ...yes they are eyesores
    ...yes they should be taken down because they celebrate the place of death not a place of life
    ...yes we should plant another tree
    ...yes I was reacting adversely - though as one is always measured in my emotional response, would suggest that my post was calm compared to the reaction in its real state.

    Lastly, and in the spirit of gratitude I have for all comments, please feel safe to give your name. Hiding diminishes your credibility, and I am also happy to be taken to task.

    I reiterate my gratitude for all the kindness over this from so many people who have have expressed a care. I should also mention the man (who will know who is he) who has so generously offered a new tree. I am sure I do not know him, but his kindness is breathtaking.



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