Friday, August 27, 2010

Parents experiencing the loss of a child, a wife losing her husband, and a baby-sister dealing with her grief...

I'm in tears once again, realising that my parents that saw my brother being born into this world, also very unnaturally (as in parents are not supposed to bury their children, but his last moments were in his most beloved mountains) saw his exit out of this world into Heaven. I read this article by Robbie Davis-Floyd on how a parent experiences the death of their child... And it just made me cry all over again.

My heart is breaking into even tinier pieces than it did 2 weeks and 5 days ago when I received the news of my kid brother's death. My parents carry on, only through the grace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Carlien, his wife? She holds onto God's love and peace and consolation, knowing that her Strength comes from HIM. She carries around his CAM device (rock climbing equipment) that has a bent cable due to a force >2.5 tons (the boulder) which contorted it's shape against my brother's hip, as a constant reminder that it's a miracle that she's alive, and to have a piece of him with her.

We all have constant reminders of Heinrich in our lives

I'm struggling with the emotions of numbness and total dispair, because at every corner that I turn, there's something that reminds me of him. His climbing photo is stuck to my wall in my office, our family photo is stuck to my fridge, a photo of him and me on his wedding day is my profile pic on my laptop's "startup/login" screen. He's on the laptop's desktop background, he's on my facebook profile.


His wedding shoes are next to my bed, I wore them yesterday - our feet were the same shape, his were just longer, so they feel like I've worn them in - yet the footprints left in these shoes are my brother's...

The necklace he made me from a flat pebble and copper plate and a blue marble lies in my Bible carry-bag, safe until he could fix it for me - he never got the chance to...

The shawl I made to wear to their wedding is often swaddled around me - a constant reminder that I witnessed one of the greatest and happiest moments in his life!

The newspaper with the front page photo of Heinrich and Carlien on their honeymoon at a beautiful waterfall, lying within sight in our lounge for all who enter.

The rolled up canvasses of paintings by all my siblings and their children, my parents and him and Carlien - meant to make a quilt with as a wedding present. He never got to see Oom Kaspaas which Otto so diligently painted and which stained Thinus' work clothes. But I WILL finish this quilt, as a rememberance of our family unit, and to cover my sister's pain...

My German Bibel next to my bed takes me back to the day that our Dad bought these for us so that we could learn his heart's language whilst learning God's Word. I still have to learn how to understand and converse in proper German. Heinrich read his with fervour - he SO loved German, went to Frau Heidi to have German 'conversations' with her every week to sharpen up his grammar and language. And so I read from my German Bibel to my dad today, from Luke 6:21 (a verse I saw last night again, after reading Luke 5, and it was underlined with a side note saying that God will restore my laugther after I went through my miscarriage). It read as follows:

"Freut euch, die ihr jetzt Hunger habt!
Gott wird euch satt machen.

Freut euch, die ihr jetzt weint!
Bald werdet ihr lachen."
(Lukas 6:21. Die bibel in Heutigem Deutsch)

"Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh again.'
(Luke 6:21. NIV translation)

BUT, even though I'm surrounded by all this memories and reminders, they can be good even though saddening at times. They remind me of how my brother and I cherished each other's company, how he loved JESUS CHRIST, how he truly loved his family, how he loved his wife with all his might, and how he loved life!

Thank you GOD, that I'm once again reminded of Heinrich's beauty, and Your comforting love, grace and peace...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ode aan my boetie

Hoe kan woorde ooit beskyf…

Hoe kan woorde ooit beskyf
Die impak van jou woorde op my siel?
Hoe kan wysies ooit omskryf
Die passie van jou lewensreis?

Want jy laat my tweemaal kyk
Na die siel van my bestaan.
Laat my wil uitreik
na my drome vir môre
en dit vasvang in vandag…

en my hart breek in tienduisend stukkies
van vreugde, herinneringe, pyn, liefde, drukkies
passie vir JESUS

want jy’t intens liefgehad,
intens gelewe,
en uiteindelik…

intens gesterwe

So hoe omskryf mens in woorde
die dade van ‘n hero?
Want al was jy nie foutloos nie
het jy sonder blaam gegaan.
Jy wat vrede bewaar het
terwyl jy jou man kon staan.
Jy wat liefde uitgedeel het
sonder om dit ‘n cliché te maak.
Jy wat elke sekonde gelééf het
… en binne sekondes gestérf het.
Want selfs in jou dood het jy liefde beskerm
Jou GROOTSTE liefde op aarde…jou maat.

Die HERE tel my hartstukkies op
En plak dit weer vas met Epoxy-gom genaamd LIEFDE’nGENADE.

En regdeur jou lewe, jou bestaan,
loop ‘n goue draad
- liefde passie omgee -
no compromise on your faith…
en dis daai goue draad waarna ek gryp
want daarin lê die resep vir ‘n vol lewe
maar joune was nie ‘n resep nie…
dit was ‘n roeping

Nou hoe kan woorde ooit beskryf
Die essence van jou bestaan?

©Ronél Swart, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

In loving memory of Johann Heinrich Kahl aka Exo

In remembrance of Johann Heinrich Kahl: 16 October 1983 - 8 August 2010

My dearest baby-brother, Heinrich, passed away on Sunday morning 8 August 2010, doing what he loved most in life - mountain climbing. He went to Jesus whilst being in the place where he felt closest to God, the mountains. With him dying, he saved his wife's life...

Our hearts are broken over our loss... he got married a mere 3 months ago, and leaves behind his wife, Carlien. Our parents are shattered, the siblings astounded. Where do one begin to explain the accolades of such an amazing man???

Heinrich, or Tiekieboks as my parents called him, was my friend (1 year 11 months and 20 days my senior) and my confidant. He loved life SO much, and he was always there to catch me when I fell (physically and emotionally). We had crazy travels together as children, being the two 'laatlammetjies' in the family. We got to experience so many amazing things together. He was and still is, my hero...

There's SO much to say about my brother, but somehow I cannot find the words - he was good with words, busy with his Masters in English Poetry. What I know is this:
  • He loved God above ANYTHING in the whole world, and Jesus was his personal Saviour. He lived what he believed!
  • He loved his wife, Carlien, dearly with passion which exceeds any understanding. She was his best friend, and they had awesome times together.
  • He loved our parents with every inch inside of him. He would go to the ends of the earth for them.
  • He had unconditional love for his siblings, he was the glue of this family. When we had issues with each other, he chose to remind us that we were blood-relatives, and as such had to love each other no matter what!
  • He was my parents' pride and joy, and never anything less than a pleasure to them!
  • He was a top-notch mountain climber, and always loved spending time in the mountains.
  • He loved his friends and was the most loyal of them all!
  • He was an amazing student, and very good at anything he attempted! He succeeded in life in a way many would envy him...

My liefste kleinboet... waar gaan ek nou vir my 'n kleinboet kry? Niemand gaan ooit jou plek kan vul nie. Ek's hartseer oor selfsugtige redes, maar my hart breek veral vir Carlien en Mamma en Pappa... en vir ons boeties en skoonsussies en kleinkinders en nefies en niggies en tannies en ooms... ons almal wat jou geken het, het geweet jou hart sit op die regte plek! Jy was die toonbeeld van onselfsugtige, onvoorwaardelike liefde en hoe om soos Jesus te leef. Ek kannie in woorde uitdruk hoe lief ek vir jou is nie, maar ek dink jy weet my liefde vir jou het nie perke nie.

Dankie Pappa God dat Exo by Pappa is, en dat waar hy is daar geen pyn of lyding is nie, net die 'vrede wat alle verstand te bowe gaan' (Fillipense 4:6-7)

I salute you, my dearest friend, companion and beloved brother. Ek gaan jou mis...