30 August, 2007

Been Away. . . here's why

I've been hassled lately about not posting anything new on my blog since June. . . sorry. Here's why:



I'm sorry if this picture creeps you out. . . time was I'd have felt the same, but now I find it only tender and peacegiving. My little brother Gavin passed away the 17th of June and I've been in Utah having some wonderful, sacred even, family time since then. Thank you all so much for the love and support. We're so filled by the love of friends, family and angels from on high that we've been literally carried through these past months of horror and pain. We are so grateful for (and to) each of you.


Saying Goodbye.

This period of time in our lives has been such an awakening. For myself in particular. Here's an excerpt from my journal that expresses, however feebly, what I'm learning through this experience:

"I am forever changed by the words 'passed away' which ring in my ears, or at least haunt my dreams--never allowing me to awake to an alternate reality. I am by all counts broken. In every way . . . . this type of pain is unfortunately not something that stops at the heart. That alone would be enough to devistate, but the brutality of it seeps through the very corners of your soul and you are never the same. BUT like the refiner's fire- you can emerge in fact better, happier, MORE whole--complete . . . rest assured that in doing so (emerging better, more complete), you do not betray the dead- or even your own heart. Rather you glorify your god who is in Heaven. Your VERY LIFE stands as a testimony of his love, his mercy and his grace. Mine will, in time."


Brotherly Farewell.


Forever Family.


Unkie's Boy.


A Hero.


Serving On High. . .

Our pain is lessened by our knowledge of where Gavin is and what he's "about" on the other side of the veil. I'll close with an excerpt from his testimony (which we are so lucky to have written down and are SURE he is busily sharing on the "other side"):

"Because of the Atonement, I have never felt lighter or happier in all my life. As I read the Book of Mormon and converse with my Father in Heaven, I draw closer to my Savior, and the Holy Ghost seals my testimony of the truthfulness of His church. The Lord had a hand in bringing me to the Truth, just as He has a hand in all our lives . . . . The Spirit will show us where to go in life, help us get there, and bless us with lasting happiness. The Gospel is wonderful! . . . The Lord loves you and me. We are very blessed, and are forever indebted to Him and His holy cause."

May we all be so blessed as to know God the way Gavin came to, live life from our hearts as he always did, and leave this earth spotless and able to stand blameless before God at the last day!

For more information about the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints, or to obtain a copy of The Book of Mormon, visit www.mormon.org.

5 comments:

Allie & Matt said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sweet brother. I was so sorry to hear about his passing. Although I only met Gavin a few times, his tender personality and warm heart shined through and much as yours does. Give your family my warmest sentiments.
Allie (Stapley) Cooper

annie said...

This last post is so beautiful. I love you sweet Natalie. You are a good sister and did so much to bless Gavin's life. I know he is watching over you and your boys. In fact, I'm sure he was having a good laugh this afternoon as he watched them flood your house. :-O my. Boys will be boys.

Jonathan Canlas said...

thanks for the cry for the last hour...my father passed away while i was on my mission. one of those, the mission president called saying my mom was on the other line telling me i had to say goodbye to my dad over the phone. yeah. anyway, your brother sounds like one cool cat. somebody I would have totally been friends with...

Camille said...

Um, I have been so unproductive this last hour here at work - reviewing your previous posts about your sweet little brother, Gavin. I can't break away! And your writing skill - depicts perfectly the inseparable relationship you and your brother must have shared. Luckily, because of the Atonement, your relationship is still inseparable.
Thank you for making me cherish even MORE my time here on earth with my loved ones!
I can imagine your little brother is lovingly caring for your own little Gavin at this moment!
OK - stop crying, me - back to work!!

Kerri said...

Natalie,

I've been rereading your Gavin posts today. It's been six weeks since my brother drowned (he was 30), and I'm feeling just still so totally rotten. I have followed your blog for a long long time, and I've always been touched by your love for your sweet brother, and I hoped I might find some solace in your words. I have. Thank you for sharing yourself so much with the world. I have prayed so much for you and for your family over these last seven months. You have been honest and raw and loving and faithful.

So I'm feeling rotten, but I'm feeling grateful, too. Thank you.